By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer
MONROE — Gene Brazel started working for the city when he was 15, as a part-time seasonal employee at the wastewater treatment plant.
That was nearly 25 years ago.
Now, the public works director is close to holding the city’s highest position outside elected office — city administrator.
“I have been interested for several years and worked toward this day,” said Brazel, 40.
Mayor Robert Zimmerman told the City Council at their Tuesday night meeting he wants to appoint Brazel, who has been public works director since 2002, to the role of interim city administrator.
Zimmerman plans to discuss his pick with the council at its Feb. 2 meeting.
If Brazel wins appointment, he could take over the day-to-day management of City Hall from city administrator Tim Quenzer on March 1.
Quenzer has split his time between two roles for the past year, working as both police chief and city administrator. He wants to return full-time to police work.
“It’s a great department,” Quenzer said. “It was absolutely my desire to go back.”
He called Brazel a good choice as his successor.
“This position he’s going to go into is considerably different than what he’s used to, but I think he’ll do OK,” Quenzer said.
Brazel may find himself in a dual role like Quenzer’s if he wins appointment. He doesn’t anticipate that creating any problems.
“We have very competent people in public works that can pick up the tasks,” he said.
Brazel’s new role also might come with a new salary. Quenzer earns an extra $2,500 per month for his work as city administrator.
Brazel could see a similar bump in pay, although nothing is set in stone, Zimmerman said.
“I’ve had no discussions at this point with regards to compensation,” Zimmerman said. “That’s a policy decision that I’ll engage council in.”
Monroe has lacked a full-time city administrator since December 2008.
The search for a permanent replacement will continue, Zimmerman said, although Brazel could earn that position.
“The reality is that Gene has an opportunity, or will have an opportunity, to apply for the permanent administrative role,” Zimmerman said.
Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455, email@example.com.