CONNELL -- The Connell City Council has offered its city administrator position to Michael A. Morales of Yakima.
Morales is in negotiations with the city attorney and Colin Baenziger & Associates, a nationally recognized consulting and municipal recruiting firm, headquartered in Daytona Beach Shores, Fla.
Mayor "Blacky" Blackwell said Thursday he hopes to have the position filled quickly.
Morales was born and raised in Grandview. He worked for Yakima for 15 years, the last two as assistant city manager. While serving as assistant city manager he was appointed interim city manager three times.
He is working on an interim basis for Inspire Development Centers, formerly the Washington State Migrant Council.
Morales was one of four candidates vetted by John Darrington, a vice president of Colin Baenziger & Associates. Darrington is Richland's former city manager.
Connell has been without a city administrator since July 2013, when Gian Paolo Mammone resigned just three months after accepting the job.
At the time, former Mayor Gary Walton told the Herald that the decision to part ways was mutual.
"His vision for the city simply did not meet with our capabilities or financial ability," Walton said.
Also, the current mayor and city council are working on filling the open police chief position.
"We have some candidates and plan to fill that position as soon as possible also," Blackwell said.
Walton fired Chief Michael Kessler in September 2013. Then in January Kessler reached a deal with the city to reverse his termination and allow him to resign with a severance package.