Hecksel finalist for Washington town’s manager job
Outgoing Glenwood Springs City Manager Jeff Hecksel is a finalist for the manager job in Moses Lake, Washington.
A split Glenwood Springs City Council last month voted 4-3 not to renew Hecksel’s contract after he’d spent 11 years in the role. Two councilors elected this year joined the majority, which praised Hecksel’s work but decided the city needs fresh perspective.
Hecksel’s contract allowed him a year’s notice of nonrenewal. Unless he resigns in the meantime, Hecksel will stay on through August 2016, or as long as he desires during that period, without the city having to pay the nine months’ severance terms also spelled out in his contract.
Failure by council to make a decision by Sept. 1 would have meant his rolling contract would have automatically renewed in one year for another two years until September 2018.
Moses Lake’s council fired its manager by a 4-3 vote in March.
Joe Gavinski had been the town’s city manager for more than 30 years ago. The firing was harsher than Hecksel’s non-renewal; the Moses Lake resolution said the council had “lost its trust and confidence in Gavinski’s ability to perform his duties,” according to the Columbia Basin Herald.
Moses Lake is a town of about 20,000 in central Washington, 177 miles east of Seattle. It’s the largest town in Grant County, but isn’t the county seat.
Other finalists for the job are Casey Bradley, chief operating officer for Stutsman County, North Dakota; Benjamin Reeves, city manager for Santaquin City, Utah; Eric Swanson, city manager for Medford, Oregon; and John Williams, city manager for Battle Ground, Washington.
Hecksel also was a finalist for city manager in Delta this summer, but the council there passed on the first set of finalists and relaunched its search.
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According to the New Castle Police Department’s official Facebook page, a “string of arson-related fires” have occurred in the town recently. Law enforcement believes “the fires to all be related.”