BG City Council appoints interim city manager


BATTLE GROUND - When Battle Ground Police Chief Bob Richardson was told that members of the Battle Ground City Council had decided to appoint him interim city manager for the city, Richardson said he knew he was at least being considered for the temporary position, so it didn’t come as a complete surprise.

“City Manager John Williams and Mayor (Shane) Bowman had approached me regarding my interest in serving as interim city manager,” Richardson said. “It is a privilege to have been selected to serve as interim city manager by the city council. I am honored by their confidence in my leadership.”

Richardson will step into the interim position effective Dec. 3. The appointment was made after current City Manager John Williams gave notice of his resignation. Williams’ last day with the city of Battle Ground will be Dec. 2, as he has accepted a position as city manager in Moses Lake.

The interim city manager, Richardson, will serve during the period between Williams’ departure and the appointment of the next city manager. Richardson currently serves as the city’s chief of police and will continue in that role during and after his service as interim city manager.

“The city of Battle Ground has an outstanding group of department directors, managers and employees who will continue to provide excellent service to our residents and businesses,” Richardson said. “I have no doubt they will provide whatever support I need during the interim and I have been given clear direction by the current city manager and the city council. In addition, I have the benefit of a strong support system of police chiefs, city managers and administrators in the larger Clark County area.”

Bowman said the decision was made to appoint Richardson to the interim city manager position after the council members met and decided that they wanted to stay with somebody that is already a department head in the city in order to try and save some money, among other reasons. As they discussed potential people for the interim job, Bowman said they determined any one of the city’s department heads were capable of doing the job.

“Basically, it came down to which one we thought had the ability to do it right now, who could continue on with the direction we’ve been going in the city,” Bowman said.

Richardson said he is looking forward to the new experiences that this opportunity has to offer.

“I think it will provide me with both personal and professional growth, and I look forward to leading our staff in carrying out council’s policy direction and serving the public,” Richardson said.

As the city council continues through the process of hiring a new permanent city manager for the city, Bowman said they hope to have someone in place by March 2016. Council members have decided they will proceed with the search for a new city manager internally for the time being. They don’t have plans to hire an outside search firm at this time, and they have started reaching out to some people who they think might be interested in the job.

“We’re reaching out to some people we think might be interested and are putting a list together,” Bowman said. “We’re sending out questionnaires to see if those potential candidates are interested.”

Bowman said if they receive feedback that four or five of the potential candidates are interested, the council will sit down and decide if they think they are good candidates and decide how they will be interviewed. After proceeding with interviews and panels, council members could then open it up and decide if they do want to hire a search firm.


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