Tacoma city attorney Elizabeth Pauli has been tapped to step in as interim city manager while a search is conducted to replace former manager T.C. Broadnax.
The City Council voted on Tuesday to appoint her to the interim position. Councilman Marty Campbell and others, such as former mayor and Tacoma historian Bill Baarsma, noted that Pauli will be the first woman to serve as city manager. The search for a permanent replacement for Broadnax is expected to take four to five months, the council said.
Pauli, who has worked for the city since 1998, said Mayor Marilyn Strickland asked her about it early in the week.
“I was asked by the mayor whether I would be interested in filling the position on an interim basis, and I indicated that I would be willing if that’s what the council thought was best for the organization,” Pauli said Thursday.
Campbell made the motion to appoint Pauli toward the end of the council meeting Tuesday night. Pauli will receive a 5 percent raise as interim city manager, bringing her salary to $237,349 from $225,846. She said she does not intend to apply for the permanent post.
“I would say I’m significantly humbled but also just willing to do the work that needs to be done,” Pauli said. “There is a lot of good work underway, and a lot of good support in my colleagues.”
Pauli said assistant city attorney Bill Fosbre would step in as acting city attorney during that time.
This week, the mayor also announced the city has selected a firm to conduct a national search for the post. Florida-based Colin Baenziger & Associates was one of eight groups to send in a bid in response to a request for proposals. It’s the same search firm the city used about five years ago when it was in the hiring process that led to the selection of Broadnax, then an assistant city manager in San Antonio.
The company has agreed to charge a fixed rate of $24,500 — $2,000 more than it charged for the previous city manager search, according to News Tribune archives. The proposals from other firms ranged from $15,565 plus up to $7,800 in expenses, to $30,000.
City Council members said they were pleased with the job the firm did in the search that ended with Broadnax’s hiring.
“For me this particular firm has some really good experience in that the people that work for this firm have city governance experience ... and I think that helps with the candidate recruitment process,” said Councilman Joe Lonergan.