Sunnyside City Council selects four finalists for city manager position

The Sunnyside City Council announced Tuesday it has selected four finalists for the office of city manager.

Working through an executive search firm, Colin Baengizer and Associates of Dayton Beach Shores, Fla., the council started the city manager selection process in June.

The council narrowed the field to four candidates and voted in open session Monday night to meet with the following candidates: Denise M. Pieroni, Delavan, Wisc. city administrator; Mark A. Campbell, town manager of Kremmling, Colo.; Martin D. Casey, Thurston County Central Services Department Director, Olympia; and Paul A. Eckert, Gridley, Calif. city administrator/electric utility director.

 Pieroni has more than 19 years of experience as chief administrative officer in both Illinois and Wisconsin, currently serving as the city administrator for the City of Delavan.

She has been the city administrator for Delavan (population 8,385) since 2011.

Prior to that, she worked for Barrington, Ill. (population 10,328) for 18 years and was the Village Manager for the last five years of her tenure.

Pieroni prefers to lead by example. She demonstrates a high level of integrity and honesty in her professional and personal dealings and relationships. She is goal oriented and works diligently with staff to ensure that the strategic objectives established by the City Council are accomplished.

Her greatest achievement has been her success in implementing positive organizational changes in the communities that she has served.

The organizational changes in Delavan included the consolidation of finance and maintenance functions for City and utility operations allowing for more effective allocation of personnel based on workflow requirements.

Further, it resulted in a workforce reduction of 2 full time employee positions with positive impacts to service levels.

These changes have continued to foster collaboration amongst work teams and have resulted in such things as leave payout.

Pieroni has a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Marquette University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Illinois.

Campbell has been the Town Manager for Kremmling, Colo., (population 1,492) for the past five years.

Prior to this, he was the City Administrator for LaGrange, Mo. (population 929) for eight years.

Campbell has an open-door policy for dealing with the public, staff and elected officials. He is approachable and open to suggestions and new ideas. He has utilized public listening sessions to determine the direction of the town, and then used the information gathered as a planning document.

Campbell is proud of two achievements in LaGrange. The first was building and paying for a wastewater system within five years. The project was under consideration for a long time because public buy-in was needed and some elected officials fought the project for 10 years.

Then, as the system went online, the City was hit with a large Mississippi River flood. He managed the disaster from pre-flood sandbagging to post-flood mitigation with no loss of lives and full funding for all who lost homes and who decided to take part in a flood buyout.

Campbell has a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Cleveland State University.

Casey has worked for Thurston County, Wash. (population 269,536) as the Central Services Department Director since 2013.

Previously he worked for the State of Washington for 16 years.

Casey recognizes the importance of being approachable. He establishes good rapport with employees and residents. He is deliberative and data-driven, while able to take decisive action. He has earned a reputation for respecting the role of elected leadership, for perceptive analysis of complex issues, and for making recommendations that are well-informed, balanced and achievable.

His biggest success has been facilitating the accomplishments of Central Services staff during five years of tights budgets, county leadership changes, and a workforce transformed by retirements.

He led staff in developing core values and expectations to define the culture, improve proficiency and strengthen their credibility. He improved communication and collaboration across their diverse business functions to achieve better outcomes for the customers.

Casey has a Bachelor’s in International Relations and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of California.

Eckert has been the City Administrator for Gridley, Calif. (population 6,586) since 2016.

Prior to this he was the City Manager for Mount Shasta, Calif. (population 3,292) for three years and a City Manager for Sioux City, Iowa (population 82,575) for eleven years.

Eckert is a transformational and collaborative leader but also believes effective leaders adapt their approaches to changing circumstances.

Some of Eckert’s most significant accomplishments involve economic development. Working together with the community in Sioux City, they built an event center, reconstructed the commercial airport terminal and runways, built a museum and new fire stations, reconstructed libraries, constructed a sewer treatment plant and constructed a new water plant.

Eckert has a Bachelor’s in Political Science/Public Administration and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University. He is an ICMA Credentialed Manager.

A community ‘meet and greet’ reception to introduce the candidates is planned for Oct. 12 to be followed by a day of interviews by community leaders, City Council and city staff on Oct. 13.

The location and time for the two events will be announced at a later date.

The new city manager, when named will replace Don Day, who announced his retirement in June. He remained to see the city through the new head administrator selection and hiring process, Sunnyside Mayor Julia Hart said.


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