Poll: What do you think of the city manager’s departure?

Some say she saved the city. Others say she did more harm than good.

Brenda Bauer’s 18-month tenure as city manager has been quite eventful. She led the city though a serious budget crisis, an employee restructuring, the Winslow Way reconstruction project, controversies involving the police force, the Civil Service Commission drama and several other headline-grabbing matters.

Now the City Council has decided to part ways with Bauer, preferring to find new leadership for a mostly new council.

What do you think of the decision? Do you think the council should have kept her on, or was it time for her to go?

Head over to the poll in the right column to cast your vote.

As for our last poll about how to spend the $2 million Washington State Ferries settlement, it looks like the Waterfront Park dock improvement idea won out – but just barely.

See the details below…


Of the 230 votes cast, the dock proposal got 27 percent of the vote.

Bicycle lanes drew 25 percent.

Road end improvements and an upgrade for Rotary Park tied with 18 percent.

The idea of buying and restoring Winslow Ravine got 8 percent of the vote.

Coming in last – with 4 percent – was the proposal to build a woodworking and applied arts center.

6 thoughts on “Poll: What do you think of the city manager’s departure?

  1. Hi Tristan,

    Tried to add a vote but nothing I clicked on worked. So if you want more input, maybe you need to tell us how to get the thing to work. or it could be I am missing something completely obvious. Debbie

  2. Hi Tristan,

    Since I can’t get it to work, please add my “yes” vote to the poll. Brenda simply wasn’t right for our city. Last week she put up a sign saying “no pets” in City Hall and you now have to get permission to use the elevator to the second floor, and we have a police officer at every Council meeting. Little things, but we are really a laid back city, welcome dogs, hope our handicapped can easily use the elevator, and if someone is going to “shoot up” the City Council, even a police person isn’t going to make much difference. Silly silly.

    I won’t even start with all of the other things, much much bigger things as the Council has set the tone. There is no need to rake her over the coals on her way out. I personally thank her for the good things she has done and wish her well.

    Now, let’s see if this Council can get it right. Hire someone whose focus is increasing efficiency, decreasing the number of second tier managers, and have the City departments concentrate on great service to citizens. And who will put out the welcome mat to all of our citizens and at times their pooches and kitties or even a bunny or two.


  3. Debbie,

    Not sure why you’re having trouble with the poll. Plenty of votes have been cast since your emails, so it’s working for others. Unfortunately, there’s not a way for me to cast a vote for you.


  4. I guess that Brenda Bauer failed to get along with all the members of the City Council all the time. I think the fault-finding fever involved blaming a victim of circumstances, although Ms. Bauer is too much a professional to present herself as a victim. She tried to do what the Council asked her to do; the City’s economic troubles and some ingrained dysfunctions meant that there wasn’t much for her to be proud of — and any leader in her position wants to be proud of initiatives and accomplishments. She was on a team that included Scales and Peters, and her fortunes sank with theirs: a very vocal group of fault-finders gave them no credit and no peace. Mistakes were made, but what can we expect?

    The new Council members have yet to prove that they can manage better than those they have replaced. Voting to replace Ms. Bauer was a bold stroke; now comes the hard part.

  5. In reading the recent article in the paper, it reminded about the history of this position over the last five years, it seems more to me that the City Council should be held accountable for making this position a short-term revolving door. With as quickly as the city seems to burn through managers, it seems more like the common denominator might be the council itself.

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