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Ciaravino's belated Christmas gifts need more debate | Darn Wright


Last updated 1/9/2020 at 7:10pm

Just in time for a belated Christmas, our new Mill Creek City Manager, Michael Ciaravino, has proposed that our elected officials

on city council give him a few late Christmas gifts. Of course, I am just guessing that it’s Ciaravino’s belief that these gifts will help our city’s budget and will keep us in the best of the season’s spirit.

But above all, our new city manager’s first question should be - which should come to mind when anyone asks for something - is, “Will my ideas be in the best interest of the City of Mill Creek and its residents?”

Under our new city manager’s vision, he needs a new full-time employee (FTE) who will work under the Public Works Director, Gina Hortillosa. This added taxpayer-funded position, the “Surface Water Engineer,” will be responsible for updating our city’s Geographic Information System (GIS). Then when this highly-paid professional isn’t doing GIS work, this FTE will be saving us taxpayers money by searching the internet for any relevant grants or other funding opportunities for city projects.

When this addition to our city’s bureaucracy is put into place and has some extra time, this college-educated person will be out and about “maintaining our city’s infrastructure.” Plus, the individual’s job description will include “inspecting surface water facilities, like city-owned ponds and those owned privately by Homeowners Associations, graf ti repair, and event clean up.”

Along with this late holiday gift, our city manager wishes to have the city council give him two additional belated presents in order

to build a better pro table and functional executive team. These two augmentations to Ciaravino’s team will be addressed as “Chief of Staff ” and an executive assistant.

The question of when to hire any new staff members is a matter of one’s perspective and a question with a long city council history. What is now refreshing with council members John Steckler and Stephanie Vignal “at the table,” is the fact that our re-elected council members are being forced to listen to new ideas. This is very different from what they have done in the past.

With new people on our council, we no longer have “one for all and all for one” thinking, rather, with this new blood to represent our city we once again have our cherished concept of “one person one vote.”

As the necessary debates go on between our city’s newly-elected officials, newly-hired city manager and us, the taxpayers,

it is essential that all voices are heard equally. Without all of the diverse input, our city’s watchdogs cannot continue to keep Mill Creek the beautiful and safe place that is historically has been.

Our council members must seriously debate the question: should we or should we not give Ciaravino all, some, or none of his new hires? Ciara- vino may be right that in order for him to continually be an effective city manager he needs his belated Christmas gifts. I, however, (along with many other concerned citizens) will be actively listening to all of the arguments of whether the changes are for the betterment of Mill Creek. If their answers do not reach our threshold then we will collectively step forward with our concerns on how our council members and our new city manager wish to use OUR MONEY.

Darn right, let the city council members continue to actively debate how these belated Christ- mas gifts may help the City of Mill Creek’s bottom line.


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