Rob Peterson, left, and John Williams

Rob Peterson, left, and John Williams, prepare to speak at a meet-and-greet on Tuesday, June 29 at Lynden City Hall. Peterson and Williams are the two finalists to replace retiring City Administrator Mike Martin. (Bill Helm/Lynden Tribune)

LYNDEN — Both are from Washington, one from Anacortes, the other from Moses Lake.

Earlier this week, Rob Peterson and John Williams met with the public, and their potential employers. Both are finalists to replace retiring Lynden City Administrator Mike Martin.

Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis said Thursday that he hoped council would be able to select Martin’s replacement by Tuesday, July 6.

“I’ve got all input by city counselors, staff and citizens,” Korthuis said. “It’s a possibility I could bring that person’s name forward to council to approve (on July 6). That would be ideal. They are both highly-qualified candidates.”

Korthuis explained that the process Lynden uses to hire its city administrator is “quite similar to the process we use when we hire any director or department head.” 

That process includes the opportunity to interact with Lyndenites at a public meet-and-greet, and to sit for private interviews with city representative panels. Council members were involved in the process.


‘An honor’ to work for the City of Lynden

Rob Peterson, who lives in Anacortes, has served as Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s airport director since January 2017. Peterson said that he “found a great team in place for the management of the city, and it would be an honor to work with them.”

“Everyone I met was welcoming and showed the pride in the city that I expected to find,” he said.

As airport director at Whidbey, Peterson gives leadership and strategic direction to 268 employees, does performance reviews and develops plans for professional growth and training.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, he also manages a $5.2 million labor budget and $1 million operating budget.

With leadership experience “in diverse environments,” Peterson said he has shown the ability “to work with people both inside and outside my organization to ensure projects are completed.”

“I have had to make decisions that impact people’s lives,” Peterson said. “All of these experiences and abilities, I believe, will be beneficial to the City of Lynden.”


Community, heritage, overall pride

From December 2015 to June 2019, Williams was the city manager of Moses Lake. Currently, he provides support for an ill family member while he works as an independent contractor in consulting and project services.

Williams said the most important thing he could accomplish if chosen to become Lynden’s next city administrator would be to maintain the “stability and credibility that has been established.”

“Next, I would want to be sure we have adequate resources to maintain the infrastructure that provide the essential services to the citizens,” Williams said.

Williams explained that one of the biggest reasons he sought the job in Lynden is “the community, its heritage and the overall pride in the community that is evident when driving through the city and talking to the people.”

“From the time you enter the city, you will notice that it is clean,” Williams said. “Store fronts and buildings are well taken care of, and even the yards of each residence show the community pride.” 

Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the City Annex, 205 Fourth St. A copy of council’s agenda and agenda packet are available at