Washougal, WA — Washougal voters passed Proposition 8 changing the City’s form of government from mayor-council to council-manager in the November 6 general election. Current Mayor Molly Coston will become the eighth member of the Council, and current City Administrator David Scott was appointed Washougal’s first city manager at the November 19, 2018 Council meeting. All changes will go into effect November 27, 2018. Mayor Coston will serve as the eighth councilmember until the expiration of her current term in December 2021, at which time the Council will revert to seven members. At the December 3, 2018 meeting, the Council will select a mayor from among its eight members.
“I am very pleased with the turnout of voters and am looking forward to the transition to the new form of government,” Mayor Coston noted. “I think this change is positive, that this will even out the playing field, where there’s not too much executive power vested in one individual. We have a great team in Washougal, and the transition is going very well. I look forward to returning to being a member of the Council and the opportunity to continue serving our community.”
In March 2018, Mayor Coston appointed the Citizens Government Advisory Committee and charged them with the task of determining whether it was the right time to transition to a council-manager form of government. The Citizens Government Advisory Committee recommended that the City Council place on the November 2018 ballot a measure to adopt the council-manager form of government for the City of Washougal. On May 29, 2018 the Council adopted a resolution placing this issue on the November 2018 ballot.
Councilmember Julie Russell served on the committee and said, “I appreciated being appointed to the Citizens Government Advisory Committee by Mayor Coston. After reviewing all of the information regarding the two forms, I reached the conclusion that the council-manager form would be the best for our community moving forward. The Council is strongly committed to ensuring that our transition to the new form continues to go very smoothly.”
Under the council-manager form of government, the city manager has general supervision over the administrative affairs of the city, including daily operations, handling personnel functions (including appointment and removal of employees), and preparation of the budget for submission to the City Council for their review and approval.
Scott has served as city administrator since 2010. On his appointment to city manager, he remarked, “It is an honor to have the confidence of the Council. I am very grateful for the opportunity and look forward to working with the team to serve our community.”
The City of Washougal will join 53 other cities across the state of Washington that are organized under the council-manager form of government, including Battle Ground, Ridgefield and Vancouver in Clark County. More information about the council-manager form of government can be found at http://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Governance/Forms-of-Government-and-O….