The Fife City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday night to hire Yakima’s assistant city manager as city manager for Fife.
Some council members wanted to wait and take more time, but the majority picked Dave Zabell from two finalists.
Mayor Barry Johnson said he wanted more time to select a new manager to succeed Steve Worthington, who has announced his resignation. The council interviewed five finalists Nov. 13, and then trimmed the field to three. On finalist dropped out last week.
“The process moved quickly,” Johnson said. “I would have preferred to have a little bit more time.”
The council directed City Attorney Loren Combs to work out a contract with Zabell, including salary.
The other remaining finalist was Bryan Harrison, administrator for Pacific County. Bill Pugh, public works director for Sumner, removed himself from the pool of three finalists last week.
Council members voting to hire Zabell were: Don Alveshere, Nancy de Booy, Richard Godwin and Glenn Hull. Voting not to hire Zabell were: Rob Cerqui, Pat Hulcey and Johnson.
De Booy said she was impressed with Zabell’s experience in city administration with smaller and larger cities: Marysville, Bothell and currently Yakima.
She said he also has experience working with Indian tribes and Hispanic populations, groups with a significant presence in Fife, population 8,210.
Zabell is also strong in negotiations with unions and city employees, she said.
“He’s very personable … a take-charge kind of person,” de Booy said.
Johnson said he expects Zabell to start as Fife’s city manager early next year.