News

Next city manager 'is about the future'

By PHILIP PALERMO

The Mirror

The search is on for the Federal Way’s next city manager, and a recruitment firm hopes to start reviewing candidates on Monday.

City Council members Dean McColgan, Jeanne Burbidge and Jim Ferrell are heading a committee involved in the search.

McColgan said that with city projects such as road improvements already established, the next city manager should be “somebody who can take us to the next step.”

Ferrell said the new hire must be able to help the city move forward with its vision.

“This really is about the future,” he said.

Assistant city manager Derek Matheson took the helm on an interim basis following David Moseley’s resignation late last year. Matheson has expressed interest in being named Moseley’s successor.

Waters-Oldani Executive Recruitment, the group handling the search, has released a downloadable profile for people interested in the job. The profile includes a brief history of Federal Way and several issues the new city manager can expect to face in the first few months on the job. Among the issues are downtown redevelopment, potential annexation to the east and budget concerns.

The recruitment firm, which is also heading the search for Tacoma’s next fire chief and Bellevue’s next deputy city manager, states Federal Way candidates should have experience working in a similar-size city.

The first review of resumes is scheduled to start Monday, while the final interview process should begin in mid-June.

McColgan said there are plans to form a committee of community members –– including school district representatives, residents and members of the police and fire departments –– to help in the selection process.

“It will be quite a cross-section of people who live and work and do business in Federal Way,” he said.

Once Waters-Oldani narrows the choices, the committee will get a look at the final candidates and weigh their pros and cons.

The process, McColgan said, will also include community forums, though a schedule hasn’t been announced.

“We’ll have a lot of public input,” he said.

Ferrell said the public input will help define what attributes are most important and help ensure candidates are a good fit. He added the council will have final say in the decision.

“It’s going to be a very public, hopefully high-profile process,” he said. “We are going to be listening very carefully to the feedback that we get.”

Preliminary estimates from Waters-Oldani, McColgan said, indicate approximately 75 applications may be received.

“Our goal is to make a decision in mid-June,” he said.

McColgan said a city manager opening in a municipality the size of Federal Way isn’t an everyday occurrence.

“We’ve got a prime position available that doesn’t come available very often,” he said. “That’s a pretty attractive position. We think we’ll get some very good candidates.”

Staff writer Philip Palermo: 925-5565, ppalermo@fedwaymirror.com

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