Names of Four Finalists for Yakima City Manager Position Released

The four candidates selected by the Yakima City Council to be included in the finalist pool for the open Yakima city manager position have all been notified and have given permission for their names to be released.  Three of the four finalists are currently serving or have previously served as local government executives in Washington State.

The finalist pool includes current Othello City Administrator Wade Farris, current Thurston County Manager Cliff Moore, Mike Jackson, who most recently served as Spokane Valley’s city manager, and Ruth Osuna, who is currently an assistant city manager in Brownsville, Texas.

The four finalists are scheduled to be in Yakima for a community reception on Monday, May 9th and a round of interviews on Tuesday, May 10th.  The May 9th community reception will take place at the Yakima Convention Center in the lobby outside the South Ballroom from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and will be open to anyone wanting to meet the finalists.

On May 10th, the finalists will be interviewed individually by both the City Council and by a seven-member community panel chosen by Council members.  The Council will interview the finalists during a special meeting that will begin at 8:30 am in the Council Chambers at Yakima City Hall.  The special meeting will be open to the public and will be aired live on Y-PAC, Charter Cable channel 194.  The community panel interviews of the finalists will take place in the 2nd Floor Conference Room at Yakima City Hall and will also begin at 8:30 am.

A detailed schedule for the finalist interviews will be released once it is finalized.

Farris was hired as Othello’s city administrator in 2013.  Before that he served in the U.S. Air Force, including as essentially a “city manager” of bases in Massachusetts and New York, before retiring as a major general.  Moore has been Thurston County manager since 2013.  His executive experience also includes serving as director of Thurston County’s Department of Resource Stewardship (2009-2013) and director of Thurston County’s WSU Cooperative Extension office (2004-2009).  Jackson was Spokane Valley’s city manager from 2010 until April of this year and previously served as Spokane Valley’s deputy city manager (2007-2009) and director of Spokane Valley’s Parks and Recreation Department (2003-2009).  Osuna has been an assistant city manager in Brownsville since 2014.  Before that she was the city manager of Eloy, Arizona (2010-2013) and served as deputy city manager/director of cultural affairs in Phoenix, Arizona (2006-2010)

In January of this year, the City Council launched a process to find a replacement for Tony O’Rourke, who served as Yakima city manager from July 2012 through December 2015.  From a total of 20 applicants, The Prothman Company, the executive search firm hired by the Council to recruit city manager candidates, presented the Yakima Council with a pool of eight semi-finalists.  During an April 25th executive session, the City Council reviewed the semi-finalist pool and selected the four finalists during its May 3rd business meeting.

Yakima City Manager Finalists – News Release