Tony O’Rourke Begins Tenure As Yakima City Manager

Contact: City Manager Tony O’Rourke – 509-575-6040 –
Community Relations Manager Randy Beehler – 509-901-1142 –

Tony O’Rourke’s tenure as Yakima city manager has officially begun. O’Rourke took the oath of office during the City Council’s regular business meeting this morning at Yakima City Hall.

O’Rourke was chosen unanimously by the City Council for the city manager position from a group of five finalists, all of whom were interviewed by Council members, a community panel, and City department directors in late April.

O’Rourke succeeds Don Cooper who took the job in September 2011 after longtime city manager Dick Zais retired earlier in the year. Cooper, however, resigned at the end of December last year in order to care for his ailing wife who was still living in Port St. Lucie, Florida where Cooper had spent much of his professional career.

Michael Morales, who was assistant city manger at the time Cooper resigned, has filled the role of interim city manager for the last seven months. A few weeks ago, Morales announced he would resign from the City prior to the beginning of O’Rourke’s tenure as city manager. Morales’ last official day on the job was Friday, June 29th.

O’Rourke most recently served as city manager in South Lake Tahoe, California. Before taking the city manager job in South Lake Tahoe in August 2010, O’Rourke had been the executive director of Beaver Creek Resort Company since 1996. In his role with Beaver Creek Resort Company, O’Rourke served as the chief executive of the private corporation that operates an alpine resort which hosts an average of more than three million guests each year and generates more than $400 million in annual sales.

After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1977 with a bachelor of arts political science degree, O’Rourke began his public service career in Isla Vista, California as a community development director. In 1981, O’Rourke earned a masters degree in urban and regional planning from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. From 1981 to 1983, he was an administrative assistant to the deputy city manager and fire chief in Dallas, Texas. In 1983, O’Rourke went to work for Richardson, Texas as an administrative assistant to the city manager and became the assistant to the city manager in Richardson two years later. In 1989, he became the assistant city manager in Coral Springs, Florida and in 1992 was promoted to Corals Springs city manager, a position he held until he joined Beaver Creek Resort Company.

Tony O’Rourke Begins Tenure As Yakima City Manager (pdf)