New Lakewood city manager to fill key executive jobs

Staff writerJuly 3, 2013 

Incoming City Manager John Caulfield will have two key jobs to fill when he starts work in September.

After last month’s departure of assistant city manager Choi Halladay, officials learned communications director Jeff Brewster, a Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, has been mobilized for the second time in more than two years.

Interim City Manager Heidi Wachter, who will return to her job as city attorney with Caulfield’s arrival, said she’s seeking feedback from Caulfield before beginning the search for Halladay’s successor.

Halladay, who was hired by Lakewood in May 2007, accepted a job as vice president for administrative services at Pierce College. Halladay wore a number of hats, serving as finance director, supervisor of several departments, including municipal court and human resources, and the city’s lead union negotiator.

Brewster hadn’t been back on the job for a year before receiving orders to work with foreign officers at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla. He also completing a course of study at the Army War College in Pennsylvania. His last day is Tuesday and he’s expected to return to work in about a year.

Brewster previously was deployed to the Middle East from October 2011 to August 2012 and assisted efforts to bring U.S. military equipment home from Afghanistan as the decade-long conflict winds down.

In his civilian work, Brewster is responsible for all Lakewood’s communications, including responding to media and citizen inquiries, preparing the newsletter mailed to Lakewood residents, reaching out to neighborhood associations and maintaining relations with leaders in surrounding communities and state lawmakers in Olympia.

Former assistant city attorney Mike Savage had filled in for Brewster during his prior mobilization but he soon left for a new job.

You’re invited to follow Christian Hill on Twitter @TNTchill.

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