Pasco council approves new manager's salary of $175,000

Tyler Richardson, Tri-City HeraldJune 23, 2014 

Dave Zabell

Dave Zabell

The Pasco City Council unanimously approveda contract that will pay its new city manager a starting salary of $175,000 a year.

Dave Zabell has agreed to the contract but has yet to officially sign the deal.

The job was advertised with a salary of $165,000, though city officials noted after Zabell was chosen that he could earn more than that.

The contract also agrees to pay him a $15,000 relocation fee and monthly car allowance of $500 starting in September. The city and Zabell agreed to a six-month severance package if he is fired for any reason other than for a "just cause."

Councilmen Saul Martinez and Tom Larsen did not attend Monday's meeting.

"We are looking forward to Mr. Zabell starting in August," Mayor Matt Watkins said at the meeting.

Zabell, the city manager of Fife and former manager in Yakima, was chosen from 26 applicants. He previously served in Bothell and Marysville and has a master's degree in public administration from the University of Washington.

He is to start Aug. 25.

Monday's meeting was the last for longtime City Manager Gary Crutchfield, who is retiring after 30 years in the position. Watkins declared Monday "Gary Crutchfield Day" and thanked him for his many years of service.

A public reception is planned for him from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Red Lion in Pasco.

Deputy City Manager Stan Strebel will act as interim city manager until Zabell takes over.

Also at Monday's meeting, city officials discussed the possibility of narrowing Road 44 by adding bike lanes and parking. City officials said there have been numerous complaints about speeding on the road.

The changes could make the road safer and make motorists slow down an estimated 5 to 7 mph, city officials said.

Officials also briefly discussed the possibility of changing the name of Commercial Avenue, though they want to conduct some community meetings to talk with property owners first.

Council members asked city officials to move forward with the meetings.

-- Tyler Richardson: 509-582-1556; Twitter; @Ty_richardson

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