By Miki Mullor
Acting City Manager Chip Corder publicly resigned today in a note addressed to Mayor Karen Moran and that he emailed to all employees in City hall.
“After much thought, I’ve decided to resign,” wrote Corder to Mayor Karen Moran on Feb 12:
“My views on the roles and responsibilities of the Council versus Staff don’t align with the Council’s views. Unfortunately, I don’t see a path forward to reconcile those differences.”
Corder continues to blame City Council and the public: “There is an unusual amount of criticism and judgement of Staff by the Council and the Community, which is unwarranted and has negatively impacted the workplace atmosphere.”
Corder was hired by former-City Manager Rick Rudometkin in October 2019. Before that, Corder worked at the City of Mercer Island for 14 years as a Director of Finance and as an Assistant City Manager where he managed a staff of six employees.
Signs for disagreements between City Council and Corder over the identity of the next Interim City Manager were revealed in Corder’s Jan. 7 City Manager’s report. In it, Corder, who does not have HR or recruiting background, suggested a self-described “unorthodox” recruiting process that involved recruiting only from his personal network and excluding any candidates from out of state. That would have excluded Dave Rudat, who was already a candidate in the pipeline (as per a suggestion made Dec. 17 by Council Member Ken Gamblin).
Rudat was also a finalist candidate 18 months ago, when Prothman, a professional recruiting firm, recruited for an Interim City Manager following former City Manager Lyman Howard’s departure. On Feb 5., as we reported, the City Council majority directed Corder to enter into negotiations with Rudat for the interim City Manager role.
In response to an inquiry, Moran told the Sammamish Comment:
“Being Interim City Manager has been a tough job, and one that was thrust Mr. Corder at a difficult time and under difficult conditions. But, the Council is tasked with making policy to represent the citizens’ wants and needs and Staff is responsible for carrying out that policy. The system just doesn’t work any other way. Staff have had to adjust to policies they may or may not agree with. But in the end WE ALL serve the residents of Sammamish and they have voiced their opinion. We all need to carry that forward.
“I personally wish Corder well in his future endeavors.”
UPDATE: in response to readers’ questions: in his resignation letter, Corder did not elaborate beyond the statements we reported on:
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