Home » Fort Collins deputy city manager takes top position in Bothell, Washington – Coloradoan

Fort Collins deputy city manager takes top position in Bothell, Washington – Coloradoan

by Arifa Rana

Fort Collins deputy city manager Kyle Stannert is leaving his role to become city manager of Bothell, Washington. 
Stannert is expected to begin his new job in Bothell on June 21, according to a news release from the city of Bothell. He’s been in his Fort Collins position since January 2021 and was the assistant city manager of Bellevue, Washington, prior to that, so the move is a return to his home state. In fact, Stannert said Bothell was roughly the midpoint of his commute when he used to work in Bellevue.
Stannert told the Coloradoan his departure was inspired by a desire to move his family back to their home state and pursue the opportunity for professional development.
“I came to Fort Collins to increase my my skill set and responsibility for the idea of someday being a city manager,” Stannert said. “There’s not a lot of city manager jobs in the Puget Sound area, and Bothell is one of the good ones.”
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Stannert said he was thoughtful in his approach, intending to wait for a move back to Washington until Fort Collins had a new city manager in place. Fort Collins City Council’s decision last month to pause the city manager search for three months threw off the timing somewhat.
“There’s so much transition happening in Fort Collins that professionally, my heart was to stay here, but the personal life side of it won out,” he said.
Stannert’s departure would leave the city with two open deputy city manager positions, though it appears that at least one of those may be filled in the coming months. Interim City Manager Kelly DiMartino’s previous deputy position hasn’t been filled since she took on the city manager responsibilities in August. She remains in the running as a finalist for the permanent city manager position.
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Stannert will continue serving as deputy city manager until early June to ease the transition. He said he’s hoping DiMartino’s position will be backfilled before he leaves so he can work with that person to help them “get their feet under them and get up to speed on the things that I’m working on.”
In his time with the city of Fort Collins, Stannert led the creation of the city’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office and oversaw initiatives related to environmental sustainability, affordable housing, parks and other focus areas.
In a statement shared with the Coloradoan, DiMartino offered praise for Stannert.
“Kyle has made a remarkable impact during his time here, and I am deeply grateful for his partnership and leadership during a time of transition and change,” she said. “Though he will be greatly missed, I am so excited for him and this wonderful opportunity to serve as a city manager back in his home state.”
The city has seen high leadership turnover since the start of the pandemic. Stannert said it’s been gratifying to be a part of the city’s work assembling its new leadership team over the last year, including a new diversity, equity and inclusion officer, and new directors of Utilities, Broadband and Community Services.
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“To a person, they have just made our team so much stronger,” he said. “I have a job right now where it’s the most talented team I’ve worked with. It’s a great community, and I love who I’m working for. And yet, from a total life perspective, (the move) still makes sense despite the risks involved.”
He added that he wants to be respectful of council’s continued deliberation in the city manager search but is “so appreciative of the work Kelly has done to transition a major leadership change with (former city manager) Darin (Atteberry) leaving after so long.”
“She’s done such a great job,” Stannert said. “With additional feedback from council of what they’re looking for, I feel really, really good about her leadership of this city and this community, and I hope things continue to move forward well. Selfishly, I’d love to see a (city manager) decision made before before I pack up.”
Stannert was referencing a planned Tuesday evening executive session for City Council’s interim performance review with DiMartino. Council also had a mid-term check-in Monday afternoon for a big picture discussion of the city’s direction and council’s upcoming work.
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Bothell City Council unanimously picked Stannert from a group of four finalists. The city of 48,000 has appeared elsewhere in Fort Collins news this year — city manager finalists Jennifer Phillips and Jim Thompson were previously Bothell city managers.
“We are so excited to introduce Kyle to our community as our next city manager,” Bothell Mayor Mason Thompson said in a news release. “He is highly thought of throughout and brings a wealth of experience working in the region. On top of his qualifications, our staff and council enjoyed getting to know him as a person through the interview process and are confident our community will feel the same way.” 
Jacy Marmaduke covers government accountability for the Coloradoan. Follow her on Twitter @jacymarmaduke. Support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.

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