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Snoqualmie City Manager resigns
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
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
"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
"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
"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."