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Puyallup city manager to depart

Post by Sara Schilling / The News Tribune on July 19, 2012 at 11:48 am with 19 Comments »
July 20, 2012 9:52 am

FRIDAY UPDATE: Here’s a link to our full story in today’s paper.

UPDATE AT 1:15 p.m.: Puyallup City Manager Ralph Dannenberg has confirmed he’s leaving and doesn’t expect to return to work. He said he didn’t tell the City Council he planned to retire, but that the council “feels a change is appropriate.” The News Tribune is seeking response from officials and will update this story later.


ORIGINAL POST: Pierce County’s third-largest city soon will be in the market for a new chief executive.

Puyallup City Manager Ralph Dannenberg apparently is leaving his post after nearly two years.

It’s unclear exactly when he will depart; he’s out-of-the-office on scheduled vacation through next week. When contacted by The News Tribune Wednesday, he wouldn’t comment.

Dannenberg told the City Council privately on Tuesday that he intends to retire, said Glenda Carino, city spokeswoman. The city has contacted a consulting firm to help search for an interim city manager, she said.

Dannenberg, 64, became city manager in the fall of 2010 after filling the post on a temporary basis for about six months. Before that, he was Puyallup’s parks director for nearly 13 years and worked for the City of Pullman for two decades, including as director of public services.

Since Dannenberg took over in Puyallup, he’s navigated budget cuts and a new political landscape. The seven-member City Council has four news faces and a new majority this year, and has reversed several policies established by last year’s council.

Puyallup’s finance director, Cliff Craig, is filling in as acting city manager.

News of Dannenberg’s impending departure comes during a tense week in the city. At Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Rick Hansen accepted an admonishment from his council colleagues in response to a report made this spring by a female city employee about “unwelcome contact.”

Dannenberg’s staff investigated the report and Dannenberg followed up with a memo to Hansen in May advising him to conduct himself properly with city employees. Dannenberg also encouraged him to attend “one-on-one training,” which he did.



Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. PolarBear53 says:

    Why is Puyallup so unstable? Since I moved here it seems someone always does something stupid or they can’t maintain tenure?

  2. The messenger always gets shot.

  3. armintamzarian says:

    Any city hall insider knows that Ralph was fired. This whole charade was orchestrated by Rick Hansen.
    Rick and his cronies are blaming Ralph for not participating in their attempted cover up. They are unhappy with Ralph because he is a man of integrity and honesty. As Rick said on tv last night, he wants this situation quickly forgotten, so he can move forward with “important city business”. Yeah, I’m sure!

    Question…how long do we see an attemp by these guys to dump our system of council/manager government, and seek a strong mayor?

  4. Armin, you are so correct. Hansen is term limited from running again and he wants so bad to be a mayor under a “strong mayor system” like in Sumner. And then be anointed “mayor for life”.

    The only thing stopping that plot today is that there is an even bigger ego sitting right next to him on the council dais.

  5. FairTown says:

    Messenger always gets shot? Especially bad news for you Mr. Churchman since you have relegated yourself into Turners messenger boy.

  6. LittleBantyRooster says:

    Hire Police Chief, Brian Jeter…he is a quality guy!

  7. You have to watch what you say in Puyallup. Free speech in
    America doesn’t apply here. Free speech in Puyallup is all
    childish psychology.

  8. The main interests are economic. The hospital, the car dealers
    and the big boxes. When they ask for service they get it. The
    latest push for the police department is property theft.
    Can you guess who’s? I thought you could.

  9. A touch on the shoulder or arm might be ok – if there is no way to get someone’s attention such as if the other person has a hearing or visual disability but the comments, and other actions, were inappropriate.

  10. So, Glenda carino was providing misinformation to the press about dannenberg retiring ?
    I’m shocked !
    I wonder who could have possibly told her to tell that lie ?

  11. Gdthghts says:

    Do you mean the original announcement from the city was not correct? City manager didn’t give his notice to retire on Tuesday night? Instead, the council told him they felt it was time for a change? This can’t be right, our council is all about honesty, fairness & transparency.

  12. illbeonyoutubeagain says:

    Mr. Churchman (IQof88),
    Do you like anyone? You have blasted me, Tami, Ralph, Kathy, Cliff, John, Rick, Steve, Kent, and the list goes on and on. You must be incredibly perfect. How about one positive solution for Puyallup from you? Just one please or try a new hobby.

  13. SSounder says:

    These things happen in government. That’s why it is important to hire professionals. Ralph is a great guy, and a good manager, but he was never long term for the city manager job. He came in, did an amazing job in the worst of circumstances, stabilized the workforce and laid a solid foundation for his successor. Not much more you can ask of a person, and more than you would get from most. The city council owes Ralph a hearty thank you, and the class to let him move on with his head held high. Ralph good luck in whatever you do from here!

  14. justpeopletalk says:

    Well said SSounder!

  15. navajoranch says:

    Integrity and honesty are not any qualities the former city manager could claim.

  16. buttmanroad says:

    Still a Redneck Town. Lived there before. Never again. I sold my old 85 Chevy Van because I got tired of being Followed by the Police. My Kids and Family miss the Van. It had Curtains. So What. Not everyone is a Meth addict. The only thing Puyallup has is their Fair. Nothing else.

  17. MrCarleone says:

    Congrats Puyallup !

    You are rapidly becoming an embarrassment, just like Tacoma !

  18. Might be the right move…not for me to judge. But timing couldn’t have been worse for the mayor’s reputation. It gives the appearance of retribution for the manager’s admonishment of the mayor: “keep your paws off our employees.”

  19. Will the Puyallup Mayor now grant the “keys to the city” to Fred Willard like he did to Danny Bonaduce a couple of weeks ago ?

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