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Former Sumner Police Chief Accepts City Administrator Position

Sumner's former Police Chief John Galle is now the city administrator.

Sumner’s choice for a new city administrator is already a familiar face in City Hall – former police chief John Galle, who has acted as interim administrator since . Supler left her position abruptly; .

In a special meeting on Monday, July 9, the Sumner City Council voted 5-2 to offer Galle a contract to be the permanent city administrator. He has accepted the position.

During the special meeting, councilmembers and resident Jon Swanson (the only resident present at the public meeting), lauded Galle’s commitment to Sumner and believe he has done a good job as interim administrator. The employment agreement passed 5-2, with Randy Hynek and Nancy Dumas voting no.

Dumas said that a lack of related experience to the city administrator position and no official review of his job performance thus far are the main reasons for her “no” vote.

“During the past few city administrator’s times of employment, the city didn’t face such critical financial external and economic constraints. I would not have put such great emphasis on fiscal experience requirement of an administrator at that time,” said Dumas. “However, the city is currently working on its biennial budget for 2013-14 and [Galle’s] apparent lack of fiscal experience with such a large budget has me concerned. “

Galle has retired from the Sumner Police Department. Deputy Chief Brad Moriecke is now acting police chief.

Galle holds a Masters of Arts in History, and a B.A. in history for secondary education. He worked at Tacoma Baptist School as a teacher and administrator from 1988 to 1996. He was hired as a Sumner patrol officer in 1997 and rose through the ranks until he was named Chief in 2007.

Dumas believes the matter should have been voted on during the council’s regularly scheduled meeting date, so more members of the community could be made aware of the decision. Hynek seconded her idea to move it to tonight’s meeting, but the motion was denied by the council.

“The vote on John Galle’s approval should have happened at Monday’s regular council meeting so it would be open and transparent to our citizens,” said Dumas. “Instead, it happened before Monday’s study session at a city council special meeting after an executive session. Neither disclosed John Galle’s position as the topic.”

As city administrator, Galle will assist Enslow and the city council in the planning, organization and administration of all government functions, and supervise the city’s administrative and financial departments. He will ensure that city work will conform to city ordinances and state law. Responsibilities also include attending various civic and business meetings on behalf of the city, building the city council agendas and directing the annual budget preparation, among other responsibilities. He will report directly to Mayor Enslow.

CONTRACT SPECIFICS

Galle will earn $10,726 per month ($128,712 annually) for 2012, but starting Jan. 1 2013, he will receive a step increase, which will place him at the top of his pay scale, according to the approved contract. He is a salaried city employee with full benefits and not eligible for overtime.

If the city decides to terminate Galle, the city has agreed to pay him a lump sum cash payment equal to 6 months of pay ($64,356), according to the contract. Or, the city can give him 6 months notice that he will be terminated. The only instance where the city would not pay Galle 6 months of pay would be if Galle were fired for reasons of personal gain or a felony act.

If Galle decides to resign, he will give the city a minimum of four weeks notice.

Galle will be able to accrue and utilize vacation leave, and was given 80 hours with the approval of his contract.

Galle will be evaluated at least once a year by Mayor Enslow, in accordance with performance criteria determined by Enslow and Galle. The criteria may be “added or deleted from time to time… in consultation with Mr. Galle,” according to the document.

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Click 'Keep Me Posted' for updates to this story. Updates have been made to reflect Galle's acceptance of the city administrator contract.

Kathleen July 17, 2012 at 05:41 PM
The Mayor unilaterally chose Galle without any vetting pocess at all. He then added the appointment to an emergency session with less than 24 hours notice. He then explained that he makes the decisions as Mayor and considers any disagreement as "throwing stones". He ignored the fact that by vetting candidates he could get the best possible person for the job and he chose someone he knew well and got along with. Sounds like a dictatorship to me, with jobs going to those the Mayor favors. At least the Mayor, when pressed, admitted he would benefit financially if Orton Junction was approvd as he could sell development rights to his 70 acre farm, which is in the designated zone. He should have recused himself in any discussions on Orton Junction because of this conflict of inteerest, but he did not. The problem in Sumner starts with a Mayor who in his years on the Council feels he owns the position and has no fiduciary duty the to citizens.
Kaedy Nelson July 17, 2012 at 07:43 PM
When is the position of Mayor next up for election?
Lauren Padgett July 17, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Mayor Enslow is up for reelection next year.
P Jones July 18, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I have just about had it with this council! I have supported each and every one of you but, all of sudden none of you have a mind of your own other than Randy Hynek and Nancy Dumas. I'm certainly not saying their right all the time however they do seem to raise very important questions on the issues and have the citizens of Sumner in their best interest. Come on council let's work together for Sumner and stop doing things on the sly
CoreyAnn July 18, 2012 at 08:16 AM
I think its time to start coalescing a group for vetting for a strong opponent to Mayor Enslow and campaign fundraising. I'll throw money in the ring to get this croney out of office. Who else is with me?

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