WENATCHEE — The city of Wenatchee has hired Laura Merrill as executive services director.
She will start Feb. 3, replacing Allison Williams, who accepted a job last month as city manager for Moses Lake.
Merrill, previously deputy city manager for Fresno, California, relocated to Wenatchee in November. In her previous position, she worked with executive management to help implement and complete citywide projects, and plan and organize programs and activities.
She “takes pride in delivering resources and services to the community including the development of affordable housing, acquisition and disposition of real estate, and negotiating contracts for municipal services,” according to a city of Wenatchee news release.
Merrill holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University, Fresno, and is bilingual in Spanish and English.
“I look forward to working alongside such an accomplished team to continue the momentum of impactful projects and purposeful initiatives to date,” she said in the news release.
Mayor Frank Kuntz said in an interview that the city didn’t advertise the position. He said he found out about Merrill through a social media contact, but wouldn’t elaborate.
Kuntz said he met with Merrill and she also interviewed with Wenatchee’s executive leadership team.
“We just found out that Laura had moved to town,” he said. “We spent a lot of time on our due diligence. After consulting the council and the department heads, I made a decision that Laura would fit what we needed.”
The city’s salary schedule for this year shows the monthly range for the position as $8,964.35 to $11,000.
Kuntz said details will need to be worked out, but he expects Merrill to have a similar role as Williams had.
“She’s been working in government for the last six years in Fresno,” he said. “Some people work in government for a while and say, ‘You know what, I don’t want to be back in that deal. I want to go to the private side.’ But she said, no, she wanted to work in government again. She enjoyed her experience in Fresno, and so we thought it was a really good fit for that position.”