Schuller named City Administrator
The Cheney City Council unanimously approved the recommendation of Mayor Tom Trulove to appoint human resources director Mark Schuller to the position of City Administrator at its June 24 meeting, eschewing the public search process in favor of promoting from within.
Schuller replaces former City Administrator Arlene Fisher, who left in February to take the City Manager post at Mountlake Terrace in Western Washington.
In a news release, Trulove listed a number of reasons why the city decided to pick Schuller, including his working relationship with officials at Eastern Washington University, the Cheney School District and city staff. Schuller also has experience in navigating the state’s procedures, rules and laws, has been involved in the municipal budgeting process and will be able to slip into his responsibilities immediately.
“He’s got the confidence of everyone,” Trulove said in an interview prior to the council meeting.
It also avoids what might have been a lengthy and costly search for a qualified candidate. Trulove said Schuller would still be performing human resource duties until the point when the city decided to hire an HR specialist, which would be at a lower salary scale. Schuller will start his new position at a base annual salary calculated at $8,655 per month.
In approving the recommendation, the council also approved Ordinance W-40 amending the city’s municipal code regarding the process for appointment and removal of the city administrator. The ordinance removes “to serve at the pleasure of the mayor,” while leaving the language that the city administrator position is filled by appointment of the mayor, subject to confirmation by a majority of the council.
The ordinance then adds language stipulating the city administrator may be removed from office upon recommendation of the mayor and concurrence by a majority vote of the council. Trulove said the change was made so that any future mayor wouldn’t have the option of terminating the city administrator immediately upon entering office.
Schuller thanked Trulove and the council for their support and said he was looking forward to serving the citizens of Cheney.
John McCallum can be reached at email@example.com.