After nine months serving as the City of Edmonds’ public information officer, Jamie Holter has resigned.
Holter — who has worked in state and county communications for more than 15 years — was hired in March to fill the newly created position of half-time public information officer/communications strategist. Her last day was Dec. 16.
That position was identified as a key priority for the mayor and city council when they added the job in the city’s 2020 budget, but Holter said that recent issues — including the controversy surrounding the hiring of the new Edmonds police chief — made it increasingly difficult to do her job.
“The role of a government communicator is to be the bridge between the city and the public about government issues – especially complex government issues – to explain, to clarify, to listen and reflect back what we hear from the community, and identify areas where we are falling short in communication and share that with leadership so we can do better,” she said.
“The police chief process was messy from beginning to end,” Holter added. “I feel for Chief Pruitt, Assistant Chief Lawless, the Edmonds Police Department and the community. There are no winners here.”
Holter said she “had no part in the communication of the chief selection process. I learned what was happening when press releases ended up in my inbox just like MEN,” Holter said, adding that “the mayor declined to communicate with me and that made it very difficult to do my job.”
Edmonds Economic Development and Community Services Director Patrick Doherty said the city will conduct a search in early 2021 to fill the public information position. He said that Holter “has been very helpful to us in tackling the flurry of communications needs we’ve seen during the pandemic, as well as starting up new initiatives such as the city newsletter, blog and helping make the mayor’s new neighborhood meetings initiative come to fruition. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”