To address the need for events and economic development coordination, the city of Snoqualmie has been working to create a new job description for a city events coordinator. However, when presented with a job description for a full-time employee at the council meeting on Monday, Jan. 22, the council unanimously rejected the description and voted to send it back to the committee level for further work.
The city had been contracting with Lizzy Billington, but opted not to renew her contract last fall.
The new description, which largely covered the same responsibilities the contract position had, was presented to council by the administration, council member James Mayhew said. The previous contract position was responsible for both events coordination throughout the year as well as economic development tasks such as acting as a liaison between the city and various merchants groups.
Several of the council members expressed thoughts that the job description had grouped too many different skill-sets together and said it would be better if the role was split up to put priority on an events coordinator role while the council takes more time to develop how the economic development portion of the job would be handled.
“There was a sense that those tasks perhaps should be split and shouldn’t all be put in the job,” Mayhew said.
Councilmember Bryan Holloway said that as the chair of the Finance and Administration Committee, he decided to bring the description to the council for discussion because of a sense of urgency to make sure events coordination is being handled for 2018. The city does not want to drop any of its regular event scheduling, but does not currently have anyone handling those responsibilities.
The position description set the salary range from $5,693 to $6,327 per month, plus benefits. Council member Peggy Shepard questioned how those figures were decided upon, adding that the city of North Bend has a similar position that starts at around $4,000 per month.
City Administrator Bob Larson responded by saying that the North Bend position was part-time and that the job description before the council was the equivalent of an executive assistant or managing analyst position at the city.
Other council members were also left asking questions. Sean Sundwall said he did not expect the job to be a full-time position and noted that it would be highly unlikely to find someone qualified to take up all of those responsibilities at the listed salary range.
After hearing each council member voice some dissatisfaction with the description, Mayhew made a motion to send the task of reworking the job description back to the Community Development Committee for further review and to have the committee come back with a recommendation at the next council meeting.
“All (full-time employee) positions always go through the (Finance and Administration Committee) as well,” Mayhew said after the meeting. “By moving it back to community development, it will also go through F and A as well and by next council meeting it will come back with a recommendation, a partial solution or the whole thing.”
A partial solution, Mayhew said, could be carving out the events coordinator position as its own entity while working on the economic development role, just as suggested during the meeting. Mayhew, as well as the other council members also suggested the possibility of making these roles part-time.