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Lynnwood Council approves funding to hire additional Deputy City Clerk

LYNNWOOD, Wash., June 26, 2023—Lynnwood City Council on Monday, June 26, approves funding for one additional Deputy City Clerk, authorizes Mayor Christine Frizzell to sign a Multi-Jurisdictional Partnering Agreement with Sound Transit, and approves research to be conducted on a HASCO rezone proposal.

Lynnwood City County presenting the Proclamation for Independence Day to the Daughters of the American Revolution – Puget Sound Chapter and City Employee Frantz Jocelyn at Monday’s Business Meeting. SOURCE: City of Lynnwood.

Public Hearing: Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) and 6 Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) Ordinances

City Engineer David Mach and Civil Engineer Levi Moore asked for requests to the 6-Year update for the 2024-2029 Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) are meant to provide a look-ahead as to what projects are on the City’s agenda and to summarize the general expected costs associated with these projects.

Civil Engineer Levi Moore (left) and City Engineer David Mach (right) addressing the council during the Public Hearing on June 26, 2023. SOURCE: snapshot from Zoom Meeting.

The proposed CFP contains 122 projects with a 6-year total nearing $485 Million. The CFP projects are grouped into five categories: Police Administration, Information Technology, Economic Development, Public Works, Administration, and Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts.

Citizen watchdog Ted Hikel, requests that the City produces a list of how many of the 122 projects in the plan are “shovel ready,” eligible for grants and the grant application status of eligible projects.

Sound Transit Multi-Jurisdictional Partnering Agreement

The council approved the motion unanimously 7-0, authorizing Mayor Christine Frizzell to sign the Multi-Jurisdictional Partnering Agreement involving Sound Transit’s Everett Link Extension Project. The motion to approve the mayor to sign the agreement was made by Council President Shannon Session with a second by Vice President Julieta Altamirano-Crosby.

The proposed Multi-Jurisdictional Partnering Agreement between Sound Transit, the City of Everett, the City of Lynnwood, Community Transit, and Snohomish County is an umbrella agreement for the Everett Link Extension Project. The agreement identifies roles and responsibilities for signatories, establishes a platform for reaching early and durable decisions and promptly resolving disputes, and defines general project scope, schedule, and budget.

2023 Comprehensive Plan HASCO amendment

The city council unanimously approved on approving the 2023 Proposed Amendment List (PAL) to include the following projects: HASCO – Future Land USE (FLU) Map Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Concurrent Rezone (RZN-010060-2023). On June 12, 2023, the city council held a Public Hearing on this topic. Councilman George Hurst made the motion which was seconded by Council Vice President Altamirano-Crosby.

“All we are doing is moving it on to a list; we’re not making any type of assessment on what type of project is going to go there or anything like that,” Councilman George Hurst said.

The vote authorized City staff to process and do more research on the HASCO rezone proposal and get back with the council their findings for a final vote to be added to the comprehensive plan.

Lynnwood Deputy City Clerk Position

The motion to approve the funding of an additional Deputy City Clerk position made by Lynnwood Councilman Josh Binda and seconded by Council President Sessions, was approved 4-3, with Councilmembers Hurst, Smith, and Sutton dissenting.

“I can’t support adding a Deputy City Clerk position,” Hurst told his fellow colleagues. “I do understand that public records requests have put a burden on the Clerk’s Office. I still would request that a records position rather than a Deputy City Clerk be part of the change.”

lynnwood Deputy City Clerk
Councilman Goerge Hurst at Monday’s Business Meeting on June 26, 2023. SOURCE: snapshot from Zoom Meeting.

Hurst is also concerned that by approving a Deputy City Clerk, the department will be top heavy.

“If you look at the way the Clerk’s Office is, you will have a City Clerk and two Deputy City Clerks, and then you will have two staff members,” Hurst continued. So, to me it looks like three management type of folks managing two staff members.”

Luke Lonie, City Clerk explained to the council in his presentation that in addition to accepting, processing, and maintaining requests for public records, a Deputy City Clerk processes claims for damages; accept claims submitted; explain process to claimants and send appropriate documentation upon request; prepare and submit Claim Incident Reports to Insurance Company; maintain all City claim records and prepare quarterly litigation status report, pay insurance invoices.

Several members of the council requested that the City Clerk’s Office reach out to Washington State’s Local Government Public Records Consultation Program housed within the Attorney General’s Office to review and assess any opportunities of improvements within the department. 

The City’s Finance Director Michelle Meyer confirmed with the council that position of Deputy City Clerk already exists within the salary schedule and there is identified savings from the refunding of the 2012 bond in the Non-Departmental classification of the General Fund to pay for one fulltime employee request.

“We would just want to make sure that when we bring forward the next budget amendment that we account for this is added and make sure we include that in the appropriations for the year,” Meyers told the council. “And then we would make sure the next time we update the budget that the staffing level for the Executive Department is also updated to reflect the additional position.”

The City Clerk’s Office is requesting approval by the city council to fund an additional Deputy City Clerk at a cost of $141,803 per year (includes both salary and benefits) due to an overall increase in Public Records Requests (PRR).

In 2019, the Clerk’s Office received a total of 522 PRRs which decreased during the pandemic. The Clerk’s Office staff decreased from five to four personnel during this period but has experienced a steady year-to-year increase of 11 percent. With a current year-to-date of 329 PRRs for 2023, the projected end of year is expected to be 769 PRRs — a 53% increase when compared to last year. As of June 5, 2023, the city has spent $18,865 (year-to-date) in attorney fees associated with public record requests alone, a 55% increase when compared to 2022.

The Clerk’s Office aims to fill this vacant position no later than September 1, 2023.

Other Items Discussed

  • Reminder that fireworks are illegal in Lynnwood for July 4th. To report illegal discharge of fireworks, you are asked to call (425) 407-3999
  • If anyone is interested in being part of an Inter-faith Christmas Choir, you are asked to contact Councilman Patrick Decker at pdecker@lynnwoodwa.gov
  • Lynnwood City Council voted unanimously (7-0) to appoint Robert Leutwyler to the Planning Commission to fill vacant Position 4. Motion made by Councilman Patrick Decker.
  • Council unanimously approves the mayor to re-appoint Marcie MacQuarrie and Mikaela Shipley to Snohomish County Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

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