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Snoqualmie City Manager resigns

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In a surprise development that sent repercussions throughout the City

of Snoqualmie and the Upper Valley, City Manager Kim Wilde abruptly

resigned Monday, Nov. 1, at 4 p.m.

Mayor R. "Fuzzy" Fletcher immediately accepted the resignation,

stating Tuesday, "My decision to accept was based on what I thought was

best for the city."

By early Tuesday morning, Wilde's name had already been

removed from the staff board at the city's offices on Railroad Avenue, and

the Snoqualmie Public Works Director was functioning as interim city

manager. Elsewhere in the building, Mayor Fletcher and staff members

huddled to work out a transition plan, in an effort to keep the city smoothly

functioning.

There were no indications of personality clashes or trouble among

the city staff or possible difficulties between Fletcher and Wilde. The

mayor indicated that he knew there would be questions over the circumstances

of Wilde's abrupt departure after 11 years but declined to get into specifics.

"I accepted the resignation because I felt it was in the best

interest of the city at this time, and we parted amicably," said Fletcher. "It was

effective immediately.

"In any organization, when somebody leaves, there are always

questions as to why, what's next, are more changes to come? I understand

those feelings. Kim had a lot of history with the city, and a lot of knowledge.

There will be a difference, but I think we can live through it.

"It's happened in other cities and they survived," Fletcher added.

"We'll survive, and we'll deal with the circumstances as they arise."

The mayor stated he had called all the members of the city council

concerning his decision, and had left messages for those he was unable to

contact personally. In addition, all city employees were to receive a

memorandum concerning the shift in the city's administration.

Wilde's departure ended 11 years with the city of Snoqualmie. He

assumed the city administrator's position on Feb. 8, 1988, following

several years of employment as assistant city manager for the cities of

St. George and Green River, Utah, and Ardmore, Okla. Prior to moving

to Snoqualmie, Wilde was city manager of Russell, Kan.

A native of the Intermountain West, he grew up in Montana,

Nevada and Utah. Wilde graduated from Weber State College in Utah and

completed a master's program in business administration at Brigham Young

University in Provo, Utah, in 1980.

In a phone conversation Tuesday morning, Wilde kept his

comments brief.

"I'd just like to say I'm grateful for the opportunity I've had to

work in Snoqualmie," he said. "I had 11 great, wonderful years and

worked with wonderful people. I really appreciate the support I had from the

staff and community members, and wish them all best of luck.

"As soon as I figure out what I'm going to do here, I'm sure I'll be

looking for something similar. I have to evaluate my options and see what I

can come up with."

Wilde was asked about possible personal or professional

differences with Mayor Fletcher, the council, or other staff members that may

have precipitated his rapid departure. He said he'd prefer not to discuss the

issue.

"In the mayor/council form of government, he (Mayor Fletcher) has

the right to have the person he wants," Wilde stated. "He's treated me fair

and I don't have a problem. I worked in the previous administration for a

number of years, and I don't think it had anything to do with that."

The city has seen two other staff departures in the last three years,

including the resignation of City Engineer Bob Hansen.

The other event was the Dec. 31, 1997 resignation of Community

Development Director Leroy Gmazel, delivered the day before

Mayor Fletcher took office. In a letter to then-mayor Jeanne Hansen, Gmazel

commented, "It has come to my attention that the incoming mayor finds that

he will be better able to fulfill his function with a change at this position."

According to Fletcher, Public Works Director Gary Armstrong

will serve as interim city manager through Friday afternoon. On Monday,

Nov. 8, Director of Public Safety Don Isley _ who has served as acting city

administrator in the past during Wilde's professional absences _ will

become the interim city manager. The search for a permanent administrator

will begin shortly.

"This is all up to the mayor, but this position will have to be

ratified by the council," said Fletcher.

"The council has a say in it, and it will be addressed in a public meeting.

"The intent is for the city to continue operating at a normal level,

and I expect that with the professional, quality people we have in this

city, we'll be able to continue at a normal level of operations."

"There were no outside influences," the mayor concluded.

"This was solely based on the needs of the city."

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