Documents reveal Snoqualmie fired last city administrator “without cause”

City spokesperson previously declined to disclose whether Mike Sauerwein was fired or resigned.

The City of Snoqualmie fired former city administrator Mike Sauerwein “without cause,” according to an email obtained by the Valley Record through a public records request.

Sauerwein’s departure from the city was announced last month, but it had been unclear until now whether he had resigned or had been terminated. At the time, a city spokesperson declined to disclose that information when asked by the Valley Record.

“All I can say is that he has left the city,” a city spokesperson said on May 9.

A chain of emails confirmed Sauerwein was fired on May 8. The termination letter was signed by Mayor Katherine Ross.

Sauerwein will receive three months of severance pay, according to the emails.

Records show Sauerwein was fired without cause, but they do not explain the city’s reasoning in further detail. In most cases, being fired without cause means an employee is let go without serious workplace misconduct.

“After careful consideration, it was determined that the city needs to move in a different direction as it relates to leadership,” Mayor Ross told the Valley Record via a spokesperson. “We appreciate Mike Sauerwein’s time, service and accomplishments while working for Snoqualmie. He was instrumental during a time of transition following the pandemic.”

Efforts to reach Sauerwein were unsuccessful.

Sauerwein worked for the city for less than 18 months. Prior to his time in Snoqualmie, he had spent eight years as the city manager of Medina and nearly a decade as the assistant city manager of Sammamish.

Mike Chambless, the city’s public works director, has been serving as interim city administrator since May. Chambless is Snoqualmie’s fourth city administrator in less than four years.

Rick Rudometkin was the city’s last permanent city administrator, prior to Sauerwein. He was appointed to the role on an interim basis in January 2020. He took on the role full-time the following June.

After Rudometkin resigned, Snoqualmie Fire Chief Mark Correira took over on an interim basis beginning in March 2021, holding the position for less than a year. Correira stepped down after Sauerwein began working for the city in January 2022.