John Williams

John Williams

Former Moses Lake city manager becomes Lynden’s city administrator

  LYNDEN — Monday, the Lynden City Council agreed to a two-year contract for John Williams to become its next city administrator.

  Williams, former Moses Lake city manager, was selected by council on July 6 as the successor to retiring City Administrator Mike Martin.

  The contract is the result of negotiations with Mayor Scott Korthuis and with city staff.

      “It’s nice to have it all done with the terms agreed to,” Korthuis said last week.

  The two-year contract includes an annual salary of $141,743, which according to council’s July 19 agenda packet is the eighth step on the city’s 10-step salary scale.

  Williams would receive annual cost of living adjustments (COLA) “consistent with those (that) all city department heads receive,” the agenda packet states.

  Williams served as city manager in Moses Lake from 2015 until he resigned in 2019 when female employees had accused one of Williams’ employees of sexual harassment, discrimination, abuse of power and an overall hostile work environment.

  Korthuis told council earlier this month that Williams was “caught blindsided by a public employee that was good at hiding his deeds.”

  “He will be wiser and more scrupulous based on this experience,” Korthuis said the former deputy mayor of Moses Lake told him recently.

  Williams was “in the process of fact finding” when he resigned his position.

  Korthuis chose Williams over Rob Peterson, airport director for Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

  “We will be negotiating four union contracts this year,” Korthuis said. “John has relevant experience with fair results for both the unions and cities he’s been involved with.”

       Korthuis said that although an exact date for Williams’ first day at Lynden has not been confirmed, Monday, Aug. 16 is the target date.

       Council’s vote Monday was 6-to-0 in favor of the contract. Council Member Brent Lenssen was not present.

       From 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, the City of Lynden will hold a retirement open house for Martin at the Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St. This party is open to the public.