Tony O’Rourke Signs Contract to Become Yakima City Manager

Contact: Mayor Micah Cawley – 509-575-6040
Community Relations Manager Randy Beehler – 509-901-1142 –

Tony O’Rourke has signed a two-year contract to serve as Yakima city manager and plans to begin his tenure in early July.

O’Rourke and Mayor Micah Cawley met at Yakima City Hall this morning to formally sign the agreement.  O’Rourke and his wife Suzy arrived in Yakima Thursday night and plan to spend the next few days house hunting and getting more familiar with the area.

O’Rourke has resigned from his current position as city manager in South Lake Tahoe, California, but will continue working there until the middle of June.  In addition to spending the next few days here, O’Rourke also plans on making another trip to Yakima in a few weeks to meet key City staff and other community leaders.  He expects his first official day on the job as Yakima city manager to be July 2nd.

“I’m looking forward to listening to the Yakima community and finding out what the needs and expectations are here,” said O’Rourke.  “Yakima is a great place and already has a solid foundation.  The City has a quality, professional staff and there are a lot of dedicated community leaders working hard to improve Yakima,” said O’Rourke.  “There are certainly challenges here, but I’m confident that we will be able to put into place concepts that I’ve found to be successful throughout my career in both the public sector and the private sector that will help take Yakima to the next level.”

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.

“The Council is united in its support of Tony and we are eager for him to help us and the community move forward,” said Cawley.  “Tony has an impressive combination of experience and knowledge that will serve the City well.  We’re convinced he is the right fit for Yakima,” said Cawley.

Tony O’Rourke Signs Contract to Become Yakima City Manager (pdf)