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Let's put Washingtonians first

Chuck Wright | Darn Wright


Last updated 1/8/2021 at 8:22pm

Often when I go out of state to be a keynote speaker or another guest speaker at various conferences I start my address: “I am from another state, and in this case Washington State, so of course I am an expert. It seems all experts are from outside one’s state, county, or city.”

It is an insult that Mill Creek does not hire Washingtonians first and support our many outstanding instate trained individuals. Why do we pay thousands of dollars to have headhunters try and find highly competent upper management professions from outside our great state? Then bring to our state individuals who do not know our laws, our culture, our city’s subculture, and who have not developed important contacts within our state.

Our city leaders have constantly hired and “let go” and then hired again other outsiders. These individuals who are graduates from non-Washington colleges/universities. But how does this help our local taxpayers? Then to answer my own question. It hasn’t and this policy has led to higher taxpayer payouts for headhunter, “golden parachute” bail outs, plus a waste of thousands of Mill Creeks’ dollars to pay for lawyers, arbitrators and other legal fees.

What about making it mandatory that our city and county government officials must put Washingtonians first and keep our tax money to assist “our own” experts and highly skilled workers? If or rather when we do this it is a win-win situation, since these exceptionally qualified workers will not become part of our state’s brain drain, plus we’ll show our respect for our own state trained workers.

Rather than depend on search agency or employment services why not use and expand the innovated tools that have been developed right here in Snohomish County? According to an article in a local newspaper, Snohomish County has launched a new website to connect local employers and residents who are out of work amid the coronavirus pandemic., is free for local companies and job seekers. This site, which was developed by a Brier-based Southam Creative and paid for with federal CARES Act funding, is a place where anyone looking for a job in the county can browse postings from area employers, create a profile, upload resumes, and apply for positions.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted our business, our government, and our sports community stability. And this has led to a significant increase in unemployment. And with this in mind County Executive Dave Somers is quoted to say “This new tool, SnoCoWork, will be one of the ways to set us down a path toward economic and employment recovery.”

The above local paper acknowledged, “The project was recommended by the Snohomish County Economic and Workforce Recovery Task Force. Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert also pushed to create the platform to promote open jobs at a local industrial center and other businesses in the city.

WorkSource, a partnership of state and local agencies, assists job seekers, by operating a jobs bulletin for Snohomish County. Local businesses can post jobs for free online at” Now how does the WorkSource advocate’s view gel with Mill Creek’s apparent perspective toward hiring?

So once again our city leaders crossed the Washington borders to find an outsider city worker. In this case, our new and latest city finance director, Laurel Gimzo, is coming to us from Ottawa, Kansas, where she served their 12,649, but dwindling, populated community. Gimzo was their assistant finance director/treasurer; their city clerk/senior financial analyst for four years.

Appropriately our college and university coaches have often been, rightly so, criticized for letting Washington States’ highly qualified athletes be recruited by other out-of-state coaches. The demanding question being “why can’t you Washington coaches recruit Washingtonians?” With this question in mind, let’s modify this inquiring thought directly to our local governmental elected officials. Why will you not put Washingtonians first? What is wrong with our state’s supremely educated graduates and our highly competent professionals that our leaders have to go outside our state to find a city manager, financial director, or for any city, county directors at all?

In all probability, those graduates know our laws and our Washington Administrative Codes, but above all they already understand our niceties, other cultural nuances such as our personal ways of greetings; our differences in our shades of vocabulary, our in state expressions, our use of humor, our history and our community values.

Darn right, Washington State does house many outstanding and highly trained professionals so with this truism we must put Washingtonians first.


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