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Spokane Valley names two candidates

Thu., July 22, 2010, midnight

West Side consultant, acting manager on list

West Side resident Michael R. Wilson and current acting city manager Mike Jackson have been confirmed as finalists for the Spokane Valley city manager position.

The City Council conducted interviews last week with an unknown number of candidates, and the city still won’t say how many finalists there are.

“There may be additional names added to that group,” said city human resources manager John Whitehead.

Others have been asked to sign a waiver so the city can release their names to the public, and more names will be revealed if and when those waivers are signed.

“We have not finished that process,” Whitehead said.

Former City Manager Dave Mercier was asked to resign in January in the first meeting after four new council members running together on a “Positive Change” slate took office. The four – Tom Towey, Brenda Grassel, Dean Grafos and Bob McCaslin – had been critical of Mercier during the campaign, including the fact that he lived in Western Washington and ran a consulting business while also working for the city.

Wilson, 60, lives in Gig Harbor, Wash., and runs a consulting company called Municipal Management Services. He was the interim city manager of Milton, Wash., in 2008 and most recently worked as a grant administrator with the city of Auburn, Wash. He also had a stint as chief administrative officer in Cowlitz County.

“I’ve been a city and county administrator for over 25 years,” Wilson said.

He became aware of the city manager opening in January and e-mailed his résumé expressing interest in the interim position. He submitted a formal application when the city began accepting them for the permanent city manager position.

“Being a city manager, of course you are pretty aware of what is going on in other cities,” he said. “I found out about it through the media, basically.”

Jackson, 56, was hired by the city in 2003 as the parks and recreation director. He’d spent the previous 14 years as the parks, library and recreation director for Sterling, Colo. He also supervised a museum, cemeteries and the forestry program.

“It was very busy,” Jackson said.

He holds a degree in recreation resource management from Utah State University and a master’s degree in city management from Regis University in Colorado. He was promoted to deputy city manager in 2007, and the council named him acting city manager in February.

Whitehead said the council will discuss the hiring process at Tuesday’s meeting, including whether to hold an event for the public to meet the candidates before a hiring decision is made.

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