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Posted on: April 6, 2021

Ellensburg Names New City Manager

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Ellensburg City Council members have approved by a 6-0 vote a contract to hire Heidi Behrends Cerniwey, who is currently the Assistant City Administrator for the City of Tumwater, as Ellensburg’s new City Manager.

Behrends Cerniwey will replace current City Manager John Akers, who is retiring in May after working for the City for 29 years. 

Behrends Cerniwey will receive an annual base salary of $159,216, and will start in the position on May 17. The contract has no set duration.

The City worked with Washington-based executive recruitment firm Prothman to recruit for the position and assist with negotiating the contract. Behrends Cerniwey was selected from a field of 31 applicants that eventually narrowed to three finalists. A public meet and greet was held in Ellensburg on March 29, and interviews were conducted on March 30. 

“All of us on Council and all of those who participated in the selection process are pleased both with the process and with the outcome,” Ellensburg Mayor Bruce Tabb said. “The new city manager Heidi Behrends Cerniwey brings us skills and a passion for working with communities that positions Ellensburg well to move into the future.” 

Heidi Behrends Cerniwey has been the Assistant City Administrator for the City of Tumwater, Washington, since 2014. She started with the city in 2012 as the Communications and Marketing Specialist. Prior to that, she was with the City of Lacey, Washington, for over six years where she served as Management Analyst/Public Affairs. Behrends Cerniwey was also a Human Resources Director for four years for a nonprofit agency earlier in her career. She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Metropolitan State University in Minnesota and a Master of Public Administration degree from The Evergreen State College.

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