30-year veteran official retires

Ron Musson retired from his job in Richland's city government Friday after serving 30 years and wearing about as many hats.

But the city isn't quite done with him yet.

The administrative services director -- and all-around budget guru -- will give one last budget presentation at the city council meeting Tuesday before riding off to enjoy his sunset years.

He told the Herald on Friday that he knows he is leaving the city in good hands.

Unlike other jurisdictions that have faced significant budget crunches in recent years because of the recession, Richland's budget has been relatively stable.

The city hasn't faced any major cutbacks or layoffs, and the council has opted to raise property tax collections by the 1 percent cap only once in the past several years. That was for the 2009 tax year to pay for a new information technology building.

"From my perspective, I think the city is in good financial shape," Musson said.

He gave credit to the team at city hall and the council for developing a strategic plan that simplifies budgeting, and to efforts in Richland to diversify the city's economy to better weather ups and downs in the national economy.

He said economic activity at Hanford in the last couple of years has helped the city as well.

In 30 years with the city, Musson has served in a variety of positions -- most related to finance. He has been a deputy city manager, interim city manager, interim human resources director, finance manager, director of support services, and most recently administrative services director.

Musson said he will miss the work and the people he's gotten to know.

He plans to stay in Richland after his retirement and spend time camping and crossing items off of his wife's "honey do" list.

There's one other thing he plans, too.

"I am going to spoil my grandkids," he said.