Council converts interim city manager to permanent post
Four months after being hired as Sammamish’s interim city manager, David Rudat was granted a permanent contract by the Sammamish City Council during a meeting on June 16.
Rudat, who began serving in an interim capacity in February, becomes Sammamish’s third city manager in less than two years. He replaced Rick Rudometkin, who was fired after only 6 months in office.
Spending most of his career in California, Rudat previously served as city manager for the City of Orange from 1995 to 2005. He then worked as a consultant, as well as in interim management roles with at least six different municipalities and counties in California.
During his interim tryout period in Sammamish, he implemented a work-from-home policy for City staff after COVID-19 started spreading in Washington state.
“Dave’s appointment will provide the consistency and stability needed for the City staff to continue their excellent work in serving the City,” Mayor Karen Moran said in a press release.
Councilmember Kent Treen, who voted in favor of the appointment, described Rudat as “a strong leader and a straight shooter.”
Rudat also has family connections to Sammamish. His daughter, Stephanie Rudat, is a current resident, and her husband, Andrew Stevens, serves as the City’s emergency manager. Stephanie Rudat is a prominent supporter of Mayor Moran and the current council majority on social media.
Opposition to the appointment mainly came on procedural grounds. An executive session was added to the agenda on the night before the council meeting, and an email was sent by the city attorney to council members the next morning with Rudat’s draft contract attached. The lack of advanced notice surprised some of the council members. The motion passed 5-2 Tuesday evening, with council members Jason Richie and Pam Stuart opposing.
Ritchie said Rudat’s interim contract was not due to expire until August, so he questioned the need to rush on making his appointment permanent.
“We had sufficient time to place the item on a public meeting agenda at any of our forthcoming meetings in June and July,” Ritchie said in a statement. “This would have allowed for the public to be aware of City Manager Rudat’s experience, qualifications and performance thus far as the interim city manager and the council’s intent to offer permanent employment.”
He also believes the process of selecting Rudat lacked transparency. The City Council did not interview any other candidates for this role. When asked about why no other candidates were considered, the City declined to comment.