Issaquah City Hall. Photo courtesy of Joe Mabel

Issaquah City Hall. Photo courtesy of Joe Mabel

Issaquah city administrator announces resignation

City finance department has experienced high turnover

Emily Moon announced on Monday that she would be resigning as Issaquah’s city administrator.

The announcement was posted March 25 on the city’s website. It said Moon is leaving the city in August to travel with her family.

“There’s no tragic story here about an ending — but instead one of opportunity and new beginnings,” Moon said in the post. “While I wish the timing was different — there are so many good things happening in Issaquah that I want to be a part of — I am ready to fulfill a promise made to my family years ago, and to learn and grow through this next adventure.”

Moon was hired as the city’s deputy city administrator in 2014 and was named interim city administrator in early 2018. In September 2018, she was hired as the full-time city administrator to oversee all city operations under direction of the mayor.

In an email, Moon said she and the mayor Mary Lou Pauly had “worked closely together on breaking the news to our organization and preparing a transition plan, as I made her aware of my intentions over a year ago.”

Moon said staff was made aware of her decision to depart last week and recruitment will begin for a new city administrator beginning in April. In a letter provided by Moon written for staff, Moon said she made a commitment to her family two years ago to leave this August.

“This career is more than a job, and there is never a perfect time to walk away from the projects and people with whom you love to work,” she said in the letter.

Moon’s departure adds to a growing list of staff who have left the city in recent years, particularly in the city’s finance department .

A story published last week in the Issaquah Reporter showed that the city has been unable to complete the last four audits conducted by the Washington State Auditor’s office without significant errors. The audit noted that turnover in several positions was leading to errors in reporting. While these errors do not mean money was mismanaged or spent illegally, it could affect the ability of the city to secure bonds in the future and accurately represent its finances to residents.

Documents from the city obtained by the Reporter show that between 2015 and 2019, at least nine people employed in the city’s finance department have left. This includes several employees who had worked at the city for more than five years as well as several who left within a couple of years.

Since 2015, there have been four finance directors who have worked for Issaquah. The first was Diane Marcotte, who was hired in 2012 and left in July 2016. She was followed by Arnaz Bharucha, who served in the same position between July and November 2016.

Jennifer Olson was hired in 2016 and worked as the finance director for roughly two years until she left for the city of Stanwood last year and was replaced by the current finance director, Beth Goldberg. Beth Wroe served as the finance department’s deputy director, working for the city between 2012 and April 2018. She has since left to work for the city of Des Moines.

Additionally, a financial operations manager left the city’s finance department in early February of this year, less than a year after they were hired, and a payroll coordinator who was hired in October 2015 left the following a year nearly to the day. It appears the position of payroll coordinator was not filled between October 2016 and January 2019.

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