Council approves contract for next city administrator

September 28, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

Bob Harrison

City Council members praised Mayor Ava Frisinger’s choice for city administrator and approved the Wyoming, Ohio, city manager for the post last week.

The unanimous council decision Sept. 20 marked the final step to hire Bob Harrison, 42, as Issaquah city administrator, the No. 2 official at City Hall.

Harrison is due to start Oct. 11. He stands to earn a $150,000 base salary, plus benefits. The city also offered him $15,000 if he relocates to the Issaquah School District.

The council signed off on the contract after about three minutes of discussion and a three-month search to hire a replacement for former City Administrator Leon Kos, who retired in April.

In a meeting the same day, the Wyoming City Council accepted Harrison’s resignation and appointed his deputy, Assistant City Manager Lynn Tetley, as interim city manager.

Harrison and four other finalists met Issaquah community leaders and city department chiefs for interviews in early September.

Issaquah City Council President John Traeger, part of the community panel, praised the selection. He said the group reached a near-unanimous decision to recommend Harrison for the job.

“Bob’s got a lot of extensive experience in city management,” Traeger said. “He has a lot of things that really fit well in his personal style, and his involvement in stewardship and economic development and fiscal responsibility. So, it seemed like a really good fit for the city.”

Councilman Fred Butler said the “open and inclusive process” led to the selection of “the perfect candidate to move us forward for the next 10, 15 years.”

Recruiter Greg Prothman, the Bellevue headhunter hired by the city to conduct the search, conducted a screening and background check on Harrison as part of the hiring process.

Last-minute concerns about a lawsuit brought against Harrison in Wyoming did not affect the council decision. Frisinger and the council members did not mention the litigation at the meeting.

Wyoming is a Cincinnati suburb of about 8,300 people. Issaquah has about 27,000 residents.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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