Mayor, deputy carve up tasks once handled by City Administrator Leon Kos
June 8, 2010
By Warren Kagarise
Since former City Administrator Leon Kos retired April 30, the portfolio he handled — countless behind-the-scenes tasks, appointments to regional groups and community service — has been carved up and redistributed to other city leaders.
Mayor Ava Frisinger picked up the Mountains to Sound Greenway and Eastside Public Safety Communications Agency commitments. Deputy City Administrator Joe Meneghini, the acting city administrator, has taken on most of the everyday duties. Kos’ departure led the other members of the city administration to assume more hands-on roles in the budget process.
“We always were involved, but Leon led the charge,” Frisinger said.
The mayor said Meneghini has been especially helpful because he has a background in finance. Besides the budget process, the deputy administrator also keeps the city on track to meet the goals set by the City Council.
Kos handled the long-running transfer of development rights from the Park Pointe property to the Issaquah Highlands, as well as myriad agreements with developers and businesspeople. The mayor and Meneghini picked up those responsibilities.
“It does mean that you’re stretched in many different ways all of the time,” Meneghini said.
Frisinger and Meneghini can count on the increased workload until October, when the city expects to hire a new administrator.
Frisinger will also be appointed as a nonvoting, advisory member of the greenway board. Kos — a longtime board member — helped establish the greenbelt along Interstate 90.
Beyond City Hall, Councilman Fred Butler undertook a drive through the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah to secure sponsors for Concerts on the Green — a task handled by Kos, a longtime Kiwanian, for several years.
Butler said he hopes the next administrator has the same touch for community outreach and building connections as Kos.
“Leon was superb at cultivating the contacts and friendships around the Puget Sound region to benefit the city,” he said.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.
Consultant outlines ideal candidate for next administrator
The next city administrator should be organized and innovative, someone with experience in a mid-sized city and, oh yeah, a sense of humor.
Prothman Co. — the Bellevue consultant conducting the search — posted the profile on its website last week. The document details the salary — $124,500 to $158,916, plus benefits — and the projects the next administrator will oversee. Potential candidates must apply by July 11. Mayor Ava Frisinger hopes to hire the next administrator by October.
The consultant interviewed Frisinger, City Council members, city department chiefs and community leaders in order to shape the profile.
The profile describes the ideal candidate as someone with “an appropriate sense of humor as well as a flexible ‘can-do’ attitude.”
In other words, the city seeks someone a lot like the former city administrator, the affable Leon Kos. The longtime administrator retired April 30 after 33 years in the role. Deputy City Administrator Joe Meneghini has served as acting city administrator since then. Meneghini has said he does not want the permanent post.