Katy Allen named city administrator
By Kelly Moore
4/18/2012 12:08:32 PM
Splash Staff Writer
The city of Liberty Lake took action Tuesday to hire Katy Allen as the first person to fill the city's highest-ranking administrative position since it was done away with more than six years ago.
"She's extremely capable, extremely articulate, extremely detailed and looks for solutions," Mayor Steve Peterson said of Liberty Lake's new city administrator. "We're very fortunate to have her on board."
Allen is expected to begin work June 1. She is currently the director of public works and utilities for the city of Bremerton, where she's worked since December 2011. Previous to that, she was director of public works and city engineer for San Jose, Calif., and director of engineering services and city engineer at the city of Spokane.
"It was during my time in San Jose that my leadership style was solidified through community involvement, innovation, problem solving, transparency, collaboration and employee engagement," Allen said in a written statement. "I am passionate about public service and have had the privilege of working in the public sector for almost 35 years."
In her nine years in San Jose, Allen was involved in three bond-funded projects, an airport renovation project, construction of a new city hall and delivery of a capital improvements plan.
Allen has a bachelor's degree in math and economics from Eastern Washington University, a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Gonzaga University and a master's degree in public administration from Eastern Washington University. She is a licensed civil engineer in California and Washington.
Allen has owned a home in Liberty Lake since 1983. She and her husband, Randy, have two grown sons, Paul and Jeff, and three grandchildren.
"As a family, we enjoy the outstanding amenities that the Liberty Lake community offers: golfing, cycling, library, craft classes, movies and concerts at Pavillion Park," Allen said. "For pleasure, I enjoy gardening, home improvement projects and volunteer activities."
Allen was selected for the position over two other finalists: Paul Schmidt and Steve Taylor. Schmidt most recently worked as the city administrator for Oak Harbor. Taylor is currently city administrator in Connell.
Candidates were introduced to the community at a meet-and-greet event last Friday and went through rounds of interviewing Saturday. Overall, Cecka said he received 56 inquiries, 47 resumes and 34 complete applications for the position. Peterson and Council members began narrowing the pool Feb. 28.
According to the job description, the city administrator, under the direction, supervision and authority of the mayor, is the executive officer and liaison officer for the city. The position directs the administration of city government functions and services and provides leadership in the long and short-term goals of the city. The administrator will also make recommendations to the mayor and Council for action.
Peterson ended the position during a prior stint as mayor in 2005, citing cost savings and efficiency. Lewis Griffin was the city's first administrator, but the position has remained an unfilled part of the city's charter since he was let go at that time. In the 2011 budget cycle, the City Council approved the position as part of the 2012 budget - even deciding with former Mayor Wendy Van Orman to bring on Interim City Administrator Mike Cecka for a transitional role last fall - but the decision to fill the position permanently ultimately fell to Peterson. Shortly after returning to office in January, Peterson announced the city would fill the administrator position.