Puyallup Herald

How much did Puyallup pay for city manager’s resignation?

Puyallup would be left holding the bag after lawsuit, lawyer tells city council

An attorney for Conway Construction tells the Puyallup City Council on May 10, 2016, the consequences of a lawsuit that his client has filed. Conway Construction’s contract in the road-widening project on 39th Avenue Southwest near Costco was term
Up Next
An attorney for Conway Construction tells the Puyallup City Council on May 10, 2016, the consequences of a lawsuit that his client has filed. Conway Construction’s contract in the road-widening project on 39th Avenue Southwest near Costco was term

Puyallup’s former city manager, whose resignation was unanimously accepted by the city council on Tuesday night, will make nearly $220,000 over the next 11 months, according to the terms of a separation agreement.

The agreement states Kevin Yamamoto will be paid $159,137 in severance and an additional $60,091.20 for his 720 hours of accrued and unused vacation leave. His medical, dental and vision insurance — along with that of his dependents — also will be covered for up to 11 months.

Yamamoto agreed to not make any “negative, derogatory, or disparaging comments, whether oral or written, about the city or its elected officials, officers, directors, managers or agents, in any way, now or in the future.” If he does, he will be fined $5,000, the settlement said. Council members would pay the same penalty for speaking negatively of Yamamoto.

The settlement was reached after about a month of discussions between Yamamoto’s lawyer and the city, city attorney Joe Beck told The News Tribune.

In a joint press release, Yamamoto said he enjoyed his time as city manager, but has decided to pursue other opportunities.

Tuesday’s council meeting began with several residents’ comments supporting Yamamoto’s work over five years as the city manager.

Related: Search Puyallup employee salaries for 2018

Click here to load this Caspio Cloud Database
Cloud Database by Caspio

Later in the evening an executive session was called to address “the job performance of a city employee.” In that session the council accepted a resignation that Yamamoto submitted eight days prior and the separation agreement.

Puyallup’s council considered firing Yamamoto last year, when Councilmember Jim Kastama put forth a resolution. Kastama said Yamamoto was to blame for the Conway Construction contract termination. Deputy Mayor Tom Swanson said last year he did not support firing the city manager that night, but that there was a process to fairly evaluate Yamamoto and his job performance.

Steve Kirkelie, the assistant city manager, will be the acting city manager as the council finds a replacement.

Related stories from Tacoma News Tribune

Josephine Peterson covers Pierce County and Puyallup for The News Tribune and The Puyallup Herald. She previously worked at The News Journal in Delaware as the crime reporter and interned at The Washington Post.
  Comments