Marie Mosley is Kennewick's new city manager, elected on a 5-2 vote of the city council Tuesday night.
Mosley was interim city manager for three months following the resignation of Bob Hammond. She previously served as director of support services and oversaw the finance department for nine years.
"I want to thank the city council for giving me this opportunity," Mosley said following the vote, which had councilmen Don Britain and John Hubbard declaring they preferred to go through a recruiting process instead of prematurely offering the job to Mosley.
Britain said he felt the council should not go back on its August decision to develop a hiring process. "We need to have the trust of the people we serve and that trust could be violated by what we do tonight," he said.
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"It seems we are spending more time picking the right person to be our hearing examiner than for choosing someone to be city manager. I haven't had the opportunity to review (Mosley's) application packet, her education and work history before being asked to vote tonight," Britain added.
Mosley's skills and motivation may be there, Hubbard said, but he added he would like to see someone with "more extensive experience." He said he would like a candidate who can "be a mentor and deepen the gene pool" for leadership inside city hall.
But other council members voiced confidence in Mosley, who Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Brown noted has led the way in developing Kennewick's $232 million biennial budget.
"It just seems we have the right person," said Bob Olson, who observed that almost all of Kennewick's top management has come up through the ranks for many years.
"We haven't had a bad one yet," he said.
Councilman Paul Parish agreed.
"I don't think we should take this to the citizens to have them make the decision for us," Parish said in response to Hubbard's suggestion about forming a citizen-based recruitment committee.
Mayor Steve Young praised Mosley as having "aggressive visioning for the city" and for her transparent honesty.
"It's a great decision and I'm proud of this council," Young said.
Both Hubbard and Britain congratulated Mosley and promised to workwith, and support, her in the new assignment.
Mosley's pay and benefits package will be presented to the council for approval at another meeting.
"This is full circle for me," said Mosley, who began her career in Kennewick in 1983. Six years later she moved to Western Washington and worked for Renton and Federal Way, advancing her finance career into management positions.
"But my husband and I always knew we'd be back. This is where we wanted to retire," she said.
That return came a decade ago. She took over as director of support services when Bob Noland retired.
Mosley has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Gonzaga University, and has obtained credentials as a CPA and in certified management administration.
Mosley said she is most pleased to have a great leadership team to work with.
"That is very important to me. This is the most cohesive team I've been around. They will put aside their individual departments to do what's best for the city," she said.
Having open communication will be important Mosley said as she works to build trust and confidence as the new boss, she said.
"I want them to be comfortable. You have to earn that trust and confidence," she said.