Fife council permanently appoints interim city manager

The City of Fife has hired its interim city manager to permanently run day-to-day operations.

The Fife City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to hire Subir Mukerjee for the city’s top job.

“I appreciate your vote of confidence,” Mukerjee said following the appointment. “I’m excited that we have such a great organization.”

Tuesday’s vote ended the city’s contract with the Prothman Company, a consulting firm that was initially tasked with conducting a search to replace former City Manager Dave Zabell.

Zabell left Fife in August to take the city manager job in Pasco.

Mukerjee first came to the city in February, when Zabell hired him for a new deputy city manager position. Mukerjee had been the city administrator in neighboring Milton.

The job was created to provide general management oversight for a newly created corrections department, along with other citywide responsibilities such as IT and human resources.

After Zabell’s departure, the City Council appointed Mukerjee as an interim replacement while Prothman conducted its nationwide search.

Mukerjee said Tuesday that he never expected to be promoted so soon after taking the deputy city manager job.

“It’s a pleasant surprise,” he said.

Mukerjee was immediately sworn in following Tuesday’s vote. He’ll make $12,575 per month. His contract states that the new manager, who currently lives in Thurston County, would earn a $5,000 bonus if he moves to Fife .

Mukerjee’s contract also provides a $500 monthly car allowance and the option to renegotiate his contract in November.

Mukerjee's changing roles are the latest in a string of leadership shakeups over the past year.

Fife has had three mayors since early January 2014.

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. A month later, Hull resigned in order to move to Georgia and current Mayor Tim Curtis was appointed to replace him.