Pasco council to use consultants to help find new city manager

By Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 24, 2014 

The Pasco City Council will interview twoconsultants to manage the search for a new city manager.

The council will talk to representatives of Colin Baenziger & Associates of Daytona Beach Shores, Fla., and The Prothman Company of Issaquah.

City Manager Gary Crutchfield is retiring in June after 30 years. Both firms are offering to do the replacement search for $19,500 plus travel expenses for the job candidates to visit Pasco for interviews.

Former Richland city manager John Darrington serves as Colin Baenziger's representative for the Northwest. Between 2011-13, the firm located city managers for Tacoma, Yakima and Sunnyside, according to the council's agenda packet. It also worked on the recent search for a new city administrator in Connell. The firm has 16 professionals, with a five-person team prepared to work on the Pasco project.

Prothman has worked on city manager searches for Lakewood, Shoreline and Lacey in Washington, as well as Lake Oswego in Oregon. It recently helped hire a city attorney in Vancouver, Wash.

Prothman is also working on hiring a replacement for retiring Hermiston City Manager Ed Brookshier.

Two higher-priced firms were rejected from the process.

Karras Consulting of Olympia also was interested in serving as recruitment consultant, but asked for $35,463 to do the job. That didn't include travel for the consultants and advertising for the city manager position.

Waldron, which has Seattle and Portland offices, offered to serve as consultant for $26,000, not including advertising, printing and consultant travel.

Councilman Al Yenney reviewed the applicants without looking at their asking figures, he said. He determined that the two lower-priced firms also were the most qualified.

"Hopefully, for the life of a city manager for the city of Pasco, $10,000 or $15,000 (extra) wouldn't be a deal killer," he said.

This marks the first time in 30 years that the city has used a hiring consultant, since Crutchfield has always found employees in-house, Crutchfield said.

Also on Monday:

The council interviewed five candidates to fill four vacant positions on the Downtown Pasco Development Authority board. Isaac Cortez, Jacob Gonzalez, AnaMaria Diaz Martinez, Candelaria Mendoza and Isabel Quiroz were all interviewed.

Applicants are expected to be appointed to the board at an upcoming council meeting.

The council created the nine-member board to oversee the agency charged with downtown revitalization efforts in late 2010.

-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; gfolsom@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom

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