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Mayor’s Corner: Getting Ready to Tackle 2018

Mt Rainier, City of Orting

We are moving quickly into 2018.  New faces are appearing daily at City Hall.  We are welcoming new members of the council to their job.  And we are moving in great directions towards organizing our work for 2018 and beyond.

Read below for the new Mayor’s Corner Updates!


New Faces In Government

It was just a couple weeks ago I was writing about the dynamics of a new council-member and new Mayor.  Last Wednesday, the City Council selected their appointment of position number 6, which was left vacant after I assumed the office of Mayor on January 1st.

Five candidates interviewed for the position, and Greg Hogan was the ultimate selection.

I can honestly say, that in my experience, both as a councilmember, and even before that – when seeking appointment to the council myself, this was the most experienced and well-prepared panel of candidates I have ever seen.  Several of the candidates were very familiar faces at commission meetings, committee meetings, and council meetings.  Moreover, all candidates came prepared with visions, ideas, and experiences that I hope the council takes into consideration when developing their goals for 2018.


Goals For 2018

Council Committee Re-Alignment & Staff Support

For much of the past year, we focused on ways to do things more efficiently between the city and the city council.  In this process of discovery, it was proposed to re-imagine/re-align how elected councilmembers and city staff work together.

In the past, the city council has relied on a committee structure to organize work outside of council meetings; however, over time the committees have grown and splintered to a point where an independent analysis indicated we might be losing some opportunities simply by the way we (city & council) had organized our work.

Over the past couple weeks, I have been working very diligently with the City Council to propose and support a committee structure, and a workflow, that reduces the burden on staff, while improving the flow of meetings, and the way in which we work through issues.  It is my belief that this new workflow will benefit the council, the city staff supporting them, and citizens.

While the city council determines committee assignments over the next couple weeks, my staff will be developing a new proposed meeting schedule that all can agree to.  I anticipate that sometime around the beginning of March, those who watch the Orting council meetings regularly will see a change in how they are organized and managed.  This brief summary above, is why.


Communication and a Change to The Mayor’s Corner

As you might imagine, a new direction at the Mayor’s office means there’s going to be some new direction among his or her team.  I know that the leadership team here at city hall does a great job keeping our great city running every day.  However, communication is the foundation of achieving our goals as a city, and for this reason, you will see one of those changes being an increased amount of posting to the Mayor’s corner and other forums.

More to that point, the Mayor’s corner will, itself, change into a forum where our team leaders will share updates.  In the next month or two, those subscribing to this update will start to receive updates from other leaders on my team.  Orting is a city that communicates.


Welcoming New Key Leaders to the City

At the end of December, we promoted from within, our new Public Works Supervisor, Mark Barfield.

In the last council meeting, we introduced a new member of our Public Works team, Brittan Jones.

Currently, we are seeking a Public Works Director, and in the very near future, we will be seeking applications for the new Police Chief.

These appointments and solicitations are a solid list for just the middle of January!  And we still have several more key positions to fill this year!

On this last point, regardless of whether the professionals who fill these positions come from within our existing team or somewhere else entirely, it will be upon us to make them part of our community.  If you see a staff member around town, say “hi!”  It very well could be their first day on the job in a new city!


Connection With Legislators

Last week a group of citizens met with one of our legislators to discuss funding for the Orting Emergency Evacuation Bridge System.  Specifically, they addressed the proposed footbridge spanning SR 162.

This week my team will be meeting with our legislators to discuss various potential funding ideas for critical public safety projects on our immediate horizon.

I want to make sure you know – you do not have to be an elected, nor do you have to represent the city, to meet with your legislators about what’s important to you.  They are your representatives, and they want to hear from you.

If you ever want to reach out to them, here’s how you can:


If you wish to have a warm introduction, connect with me and I would be glad to help you connect with them.


Brief Recap of the Votes of Last Council Meeting

Council position #6 – Council voted in Greg Hogan to position #6, Passed 4-2

Consent Agenda, Passed  7-0

Comprehensive Plan Ordinance, Passed 7-0

Resolution 2018-01- Relating to Utility Rates, Passed  7-0

DM Disposal Rate Increase, Passed 6-0 (1 Abstention)

Purchasing Policy, Passed 7-0

Amend Council Rules, Passed 7-0

Proposed Meeting/Committee Structure, Passed 7-0

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110 Train Street SE - PO Box 489
Orting, WA 98360 - 360.893.2219