After what was described as heated executive sessions on Saturday and Monday, the Mountlake Terrace City Council voted to make Scott Hugill the new City Manager for Mountlake Terrace in a 4-3 split vote during Monday night’s regular meeting. Mayor Jerry Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Ryan and Councilmember Kyoko Matsumoto-Wright cast the no votes.
After Hugill was selected, Ryan made a motion for the council to unanimously support the new City Manager. It passed with a 6-1 vote, with Mayor Smith dissenting.
Hugill was selected from a pool of three finalists. The other two were Jill Anderson, city manager of Riverbank, Calif. and Richard Leahy, who was recently the city manager of Woodinville.
Hugill has been the Interim City Manager since September 2015. He has held the position of Interim City Manager before and has worked for the City of Mountlake Terrace for over a decade. Two weeks ago, the Mountlake Terrace Police Department presented a vote of no confidence in Hugill to the City Council.
Hugill’s appointment is pending an employment contract with Hugill under “mutually agreeable terms.” That contract is now being negotiated with the city attorney.
Councilmember Seaun Richards said he supported Hugill because he believes he has the best plan to fix the city’s budget problem.
“I think if he executes his plan in time, it will work,” Richards said after Monday night’s meeting. “And we are going to hold him accountable.”
Candidate Jill Anderson had, in previous cities she managed, made major cuts to city services, pay for city employees and eliminated city police departments, which Richards said concerned him. Richards said he found out what she had done in previous cities through independent research.
Richards also appreciated Hugill’s seniority within the city.
“Scott has been in Mountlake Terrace for 13 years now,” Richards said. “He served three times as the interim city manager. Twice he was asked to apply for the city manager position but didn’t want to.”
Correction: A previous version of this story said that Jill Anderson had shared a plan including cuts to city services and eliminating the Mountlake Terrace Police Department. The story was corrected on Thursday, May 19 to show that those are the types of actions she had taken in previous cities.