Marysville has a new public works director after long search

Esco Bell brings more than two decades of experience in the field to his new post.

Esco Bell (City of Marysville)

Esco Bell (City of Marysville)

MARYSVILLE — With over 20 years of experience along the way, Esco Bell aims to support the city of Marysville in its continued growth as the new public works director.

“Marysville is a really hopping town, the growth is fantastic,” Bell said. “This is like the capstone on my career that will take me into retirement easily with lots of reach and challenge.”

Bell, who began his new role on June 7, spent the last 16 1/2 years as public works director for the city of Mount Vernon. There, he oversaw handling of several large-scale projects including Mount Vernon’s floodwall protection and widening Highway 538. He previously served as public works director for Pacific County and city engineer for the city of St. Helens, Oregon.

His credentials in combination with his passion for public works that he said he first realized while admiring suspension bridges at the age of 14 are what set him apart from other applicants.

“We were looking for someone dynamic who could really lead a growing department,” Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima said. “He met those expectations of having breadth of knowledge, and in talking to his references he was a team player, he was a great problem-solver, he’s very enthusiastic. We wanted someone with a passion for public works and he had that passion.”

The city began searching for a new public works director near the end of 2020 and included city employees, managers and department directors in the panel interview process.

Bell is a Montana native who has spent the last three decades in the Pacific Northwest. He has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Montana State University and a Master of Public Adminstration degree from Portland State University. He also possesses a license in engineering.

“The combination of his experience and his education — he’s a licensed engineer, he’s pursued a lot of education and improvement throughout his career — he seeks knowledge and his ability to work with team members made for a complete applicant that met all of our expectations and hopes,” Hirashima said.

Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

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