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By Jana Hill
Mill Creek Beacon Editor 

Mill Creek staffing changes continue

Grace Lockett laid off; Jeff Balentine appointed to replace her


Last updated 1/17/2021 at 1:02pm

Jeff Balentine

The City of Mill Creek is in the process of a reorganization that has appointed a former finance director to work alongside the city manager, and reorganized to omit the chief of staff role.

In a prepared statement sent to the Beacon, the city detailed its reclassification of the position of chief of staff to the position of deputy city manager and internal auditor. The role replacement was effective Jan. 1, but interviews on the subject were deferred to City Manager Michael Ciaravino, who has avoided phone contact with the Beacon.

The reclassification was approved by City Council during the regular meeting in December, and enacted by City Ordinance No. 2020-869.

It omits the position that was filled by Grace Lockett. The city statement said Lockett opted not to apply for the new role, and was therefore subject to layoff.

Lockett's last day with the City of Mill Creek was Jan. 5.

Michael Ciaravino

Ciaravino appointed former finance director Jeff Balentine to the newly created position, also effective Jan. 1. Balentine is on an approved leave the city statement said. The Beacon was in contact with Balentine prior to the appointment. He was mentioned as a favored choice in a council meeting, and his skillset makes him well fit for the role, which requires financial prowess.

The morning of Jan. 14, Balentine said he was not ready to comment on the appointment to serve as Mill Creek's Deputy City Manager.

The shift is part of the City of Mill Creek's ongoing reorganization efforts, the news release said.

The City of Mill Creek news release stated that they will have no further comments at this time, regarding the reorganization.


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