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Smith leaves Liberty Lake position

Sat., Aug. 11, 2012

The city of Liberty Lake no longer has a community development director.

Mayor Steve Peterson announced Doug Smith and the city parted ways effective Aug. 3 at the City Council’s Tuesday meeting.

Peterson said it was an amicable separation and that he and Smith had been discussing the possibility for the past six to eight months.

“He’s just a quality guy,” Peterson said.

Smith didn’t return calls seeking comment.

He said the city was hoping to streamline services by cutting this position and reorganizing the staff.

“The reorganization doesn’t include the community development position any longer,” Peterson said. He said the loss of the position will help the city become revenue neutral in coming years.

Smith had been with Liberty Lake since 2001. For the last several years, he had acted as city administrator until Katy Allen was hired for that position earlier this year.

Allen said Smith supervised about 10 employees, four of those full time and the rest part-time seasonal employees.

“Basically, I have the four supervisors, and or managers reporting to me,” Allen said.

She added the council is having a retreat this weekend to discuss the goals and priorities of the council and mayor, and may discuss the open position, but “at this point we don’t have a plan to fill the position.”

Smith has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit against the city filed in June by former golf pro Mollie Thola, alleging gender and age discrimination, retaliation, negligent supervision, invasion of privacy, breach of privacy and defamation, among other charges.

Both Peterson and Allen said the lawsuit had nothing to do with Smith’s departure. Allen said the city will continue to represent Smith and the city’s insurance carrier is aware of his departure.

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