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.