Lorenzo Hines confirmed as City of Lynnwood’s new finance director

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The Lynnwood City Council Monday night confirmed Lorenzo Hines, current finance director for the City of Edmonds, as its new finance director. The vote was 6-1.

“I am excited to work with Mr. Hines,” City Councilmember Jim Smith said in an email to Lynnwood Today. “Lynnwood is fortunate to get such a qualified finance director.”

Lynnwood Today reported Monday that Hines was one of five finalists interviewed for the Lynnwood position last week.

Hines’ has had a rocky relationship in recent months with two Edmonds City Councilmembers, Diane Buckshnis and Michael Plunkett. In November 2010, he complained to City Human Resources Director Debi Humann that emails and personal interactions between himself and Buckshnis and Plunkett “have grown more and more hostile.”

In response to that email, the city hired an attorney – John Chun of Summit Law Group – to investigate the complaint as possible discrimination, and Chun’s findings were submitted to Mayor Mike Cooper on Jan. 18. The report concludes that such discrimination didn’t occur.

Plunkett and Buckshnis submitted a written statement stating that Hines’ allegations “are frivolous and not worthy of lengthy commentary.”  In the statement, the two councilmembers cite the council’s passage of new finance policies in April 2010 — Resolution 1226 and Ordinance 3789 — “so Mr. Hines would have a written council approved document that was designed to help him understand the expectations of the city council, including creating a team approach between the city council and Mr. Hines.”

In an interview in early February, Hines told My Edmonds News that he was willing to sit down with Plunkett and Buckshnis in an effort to clear the air and move forward in the best interests of the city. Buckshnis said that she and Plunkett had been advised by their attorney to have no further dialogue with Hines.

7 COMMENTS

  1. 6 to1 vote that is not even close. Its pretty amazing when the real truth comes out all the critics shut up. From a 6 to 1 vote I suspect Mr Hindes was doing a much better job than people gave him credit for, particular in this blog

  2. I’m surprised nobody is reporting that Lynnwood is hiring a Finance Director because John Moir quit after a heated exchange with the Lynnwood City Council in March of last year. It was over a demand from City Council for better information about city finances. (Sound familiar?) They’ve had an interim Finance Director since then.

    Lynnwood is in a very serious financial crisis. They’ve depleted their rainy day fund, and have borrowed to replenish the general fund. They had to lay off 30 employees and they’ve increased property taxes, utility taxes and per-employee business taxes to get a balanced budget. They also sold and transferred property to make up another $5 million. That’s this year’s real gap between revenue and spending after the new taxes are taken into account.

    Expect more fireworks from our northeast neighbor. Good luck indeed, Mr. Hines. You’re gonna need it.

  3. Lynnwood City Councilmember Loren Simmonds was the lone “no” vote against hiring Mr. Hines. Most of the discussion of his hiring was held behind closed doors in executive session.

    Mike Murphy
    Lynnwood Today

  4. Mr. Hines will probably do OK if he sticks to bean counting and accurate reporting thereof in a timely and transparent manner. He needs to avoid participating in city politics and/or being used in a political manner.

  5. Well, my expereince with Mr. Hines has not been so favorable! I sustained a huge gash on my knee that required 7 stitches at the Lynnwood pool a month ago and was given his name to have the city help with my docto billsr/loss wages. I hand delivered a very accurate and thourough packet of information and photos of where the injury was sustained at the hot tub hand rail of the Lynnwood pool. The photos clearly show that the hand rail that sliced my knee open is still not fixed! People, many of them children are at risk with such a sharp object at a swimming pool like that! Mr. Hines has not even had the professional courtesy to return my phone calls or make any effort to discuss this matter with me.
    I am very upset that the hand rail is still dangerous and that no one has responded to my inquiry at all! I was given Mr. Hines as the contact for the issue!

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