Mayor John Kartak
Mayor John Kartak took the oath of office on Nov. 29, 2017, and began serving as the City's new mayor. His role is different from past mayors because Snohomish has transitioned from a council-manager to a mayor-council plan of government.
Changes to the City’s plan of government were set in motion when voters approved a proposition on the 2016 general election ballot.
Kartak was a leader in the citizen movement that changed local government.
Under the new form of government, the mayor serves as the chief executive to administer the city government on a day-to-day basis.
Mayor Kartak has appointed former Deputy City Manager and Public Works Director Steve Schuller as City Administrator.
The Council will continue to be responsible as the legislative branch of government and is responsible for adopting various policies, ordinances, resolutions, contracts and budgets.
As a so-called “strong mayor,” (as defined by state law) the new mayor has duties including the hiring and firing of staff, negotiating labor agreements, managing city finances and developing proposed policies and future budgets for City Council approval.
In brief, the Council’s role is to adopt policies for the city and it is the Mayor’s role to carry out those policies.
The mayor chairs City Council meetings, but may vote only to break a tie vote of the Council on matters other than the passage of any ordinance, grant, or revocation of franchise or license, or any resolution for the payment of money.
Ordinances adopted by the City Council may be vetoed by the mayor, though the City Council may override such vetoes with a majority plus one of the whole membership (5 votes).
The Council continues to be responsible for adopting various policies, ordinances, resolutions, contracts and budgets. Instead of electing a mayor among its members to serve for two year terms, as it had in the past, the Council may elect a councilmember as mayor pro tem or similar title. The mayor pro tem would chair Council meetings and substitute for the mayor only in the absence of the mayor.
The City Council continues to be comprised of seven members elected at large for staggered, four-year terms.
Mayor’s Term of Office
The new mayor will serve a four-year term ending on December 31, 2021.