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City of Marysville chief administrator announces retirement

After March 31, Mary Swenson will be officially retired from the city of marysville. - Courtesy photo
After March 31, Mary Swenson will be officially retired from the city of marysville.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

MARYSVILLE — Mary Swenson, chief administrative officer for the city of Marysville since 2001, announced March 1 that she is retiring from her career in public service which spanned more than 32 years, all of it with the city of Marysville, on March 31.

Swenson said she will miss the relationships and challenges that kept her job enjoyable, but after much deliberation she considered this the opportune time for both her and the city to take advantage of her ability to retire.

“I am leaving this job that I love at the best possible time,” Swenson said. “The city is in excellent shape. Every department, without exception, is in a great position and directed by very talented individuals. Mayor Kendall and our City Council members are some of the best individuals I have had the privilege of working with, and I am confident their good work will continue to benefit the citizens of Marysville.”

Swenson thanked Marysville’s citizens, mayor, City Council, department directors and city employees for “the confidence and overwhelming support” that they placed in her.

During her three-decade-plus tenure, not only as the city’s chief administrator, but also as the city clerk and assistant administrator prior to her current post, Swenson forged strong relationships with the Tulalip Tribes, neighboring jurisdictions, Snohomish County, state and federal lawmakers, and her fellow city employees.

Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall accepted the resignation of Swenson, who had served as his chief administrator and “right hand” since he came into office in 2003.

“This is a significant loss for the city,” Kendall said. “Mary has been a tremendous asset to Marysville, and I’ll miss the counsel and guidance she provided me, day in and day out. Her leadership, experience and expertise will be missed.”

According to city of Marysville Public Information Officer Doug Buell, Swenson’s career was marked by her reputation throughout the city as the “go-to‚” person on almost every facet of its operations. As her position grew, she developed skills in a wide range of areas, including economic development, risk management, communications, personnel management, labor negotiations, contract management, budgeting and special projects.

Kendall recommended current city Community Development Director Gloria Hirashima to the City Council to replace Swenson as chief administrative officer. The City Council voted unanimously March 1 to approve the mayor’s recommendation. Hirashima has served as the city’s community development director for more than 18 years.

“Gloria has gained a solid reputation in the region, and she brings all the qualities to the job that will make her an exceptional administrator,” Kendall said.

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