City Council names Lee Walton interim city manager

The City Council unanimously approved an employment agreement Wednesday for Lee Walton to become interim city manager.

The appointment requires a $25,000 budget amendment. Walton will be paid $65 an hour, for up to 1,000 hours, or approximately 6 months. Walton will not receive any benefits from the city.

Walton previously worked as Bainbridge’s interim city administrator from July 2003 to May 2004, serving as a bridge between Lynn Nordby and Mary Jo Briggs.

Walton has built a reputation of a fixer by stepping into temporary positions in struggling governments throughout the Northwest.

Walton graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1956, and did graduate work in public and business administration at the University of Southern California through 1960.

He intended to go to law school, but was drafted into the U.S. Army after beginning his studies.

After he got out of the Army, Walton needed a job to support his family, so he went to work as an administrative assistant in Los Angeles County, then became city administrator in Rolling Hills Estates.

After an eight-year stint as manager of Pleasant Hill, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area, he spent three years as King County ombudsman. He spent another two decades back in California as city manager of Martinez, San Luis Obispo and Antioch before retiring to the Northwest.

Since retiring in 1991, Walton has been interim city manager in California; Woodburn, Ore.; and Covington, Sammamish, and Puyallup.

In 2003, he helped build the government of Spokane Valley as city manager when it became incorporated.

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