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Olympia assistant city manager picked to fill top job for now

Jay Burney
Jay Burney City of Olympia

Olympia leaders have tapped the assistant city manager to take over on an interim basis when his boss retires.

Longtime City Manager Steve Hall announced this month he would retire Nov. 7 after nearly 30 years working for the city. The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on a contract with Jay Burney, currently the assistant city manager, to serve as interim city manager until a permanent city manager is appointed.

The city manager post is one of the few jobs the City Council hires. Mayor Cheryl Selby said Thursday a national search for Hall’s replacement will begin in January.

But council members also have said they see Hall’s departure as an opportunity to consider possible changes to the city manager position or the structure of city government. The council is expected to have that conversation this fall.

Burney’s base salary for the interim position would be $175,250. He made $159,008 in 2018, while Hall made $182,559.

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