Fife City Manager Dave Zabell has accepted a job in the Tri-Cities.
Zabell, who has led day-to-day operations at Fife City Hall for more than three years, will remain with the city until Aug. 12 before taking the city manager job in Pasco.
“While Dave’s departure represents a significant loss, he leaves us a strong and very capable organization,” Mayor Tim Curtis said in a news release. “While we were able to work out a comfortable departure date with Dave, we are anxious to begin the process of replacing him.”
Zabell was selected from among five finalists in Pasco − narrowed down from 22 applicants − to run the city of more than 60,000 people. Pasco is more than six times larger than Fife, which has a population of about 9,200.
Zabell has said he didn’t initially plan to apply, but after receiving calls from people acquainted with Pasco he decided to pursue it.
Leaving the city of Fife is bittersweet, Zabell said as part of the city’s announcement.
“I enjoy our little powerhouse of a City and care deeply for the men and women who make it all work,” he said in the release.
Zabell has overseen a variety of issues, including a city center project that seeks to unify two sections of Fife that are divided by Interstate 5.
He was hired as Fife’s city manager in late 2010 after working as assistant city manager in Yakima since 2005.
When he moves back east of the Cascades, he will oversee about 300 employees, double the size of Fife’s staff of about 150.
The base salary for the Pasco job is $161,000, according to a report in the Tri-City Herald, but that amount could increase. His current salary is $165,000.
Zabell’s departure marks another shift in leadership in a short period of time.
Fife has had three mayors dating to last December.
In January, current council member and then-mayor Rob Cerqui was unseated after the Fife City Council voted to appoint Glenn Hull to the position. Hull resigned in February in order to move to Georgia, and Curtis was appointed in March.
Kari Plog: 253-597-8682
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