City Council Removes Harrison from City Manager Position

The Yakima City Council voted 5-2 during its January 2nd regular meeting to remove Bob Harrison from his position as Yakima city manager effective on February 2nd.

A resolution adopted by the Council cited the change in the makeup of the Council following the election of three new members last November as the impetus for ending Harrison’s tenure.

The resolution said, “…as a result of the change in councilmembers, the City Council has determined it is in the best interest of the City to seek a new city manager…”

“Mr. Harrison displayed strong municipal leadership skills with City staff through the COVID crisis, including distribution of CARES Act funds to local businesses and a comprehensive study of the use of ARPA funds to meet City financial needs and crucial community needs,” said Mayor Patricia Byers.  “He worked well with legislative issues, encouraging the Aquatic Center at MLK, Jr. Park project, and the ongoing development and expansion of services at the Yakima airport.  I appreciate his efforts in our community and wish him success in future endeavors,” said Byers.

Harrison became Yakima city manager in September 2020.  Prior to that, he had worked in similar roles in Renton, Issaquah, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

“I have appreciated my time in Yakima and am proud of the service I provided to the City working with our elected officials, employees, and community members,” said Harrison.  “We accomplished quite a few things during my tenure.  Crime has been reduced through effective efforts like the Domestic Violence Coalition, economic development has been spurred by cleanup of the mill site and investments at the airport, and City services have been enhanced, for example the Clean City program and the City assuming operation of the Washington Fruit Community Center,” said Harrison.  “I also guided new City management staff transitioning into leadership roles here, and I’ve made some difficult fiscal choices regarding the City budget.  Yakima is a wonderful community and I wish the best for the new Council,” said Harrison.

As outlined in his agreement with the City, Harrison will receive six months pay as severance.  In addition, the City will pay Harrison an amount equal to six months of healthcare coverage under its plan and any accrued leave or other benefits.

At its January 16th regular meeting, the Council will discuss the process it will go to hire a new city manager.