Ridgefield city manager resigns

By Tyler Graf, Columbian county government reporter

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Ridgefield City Manager Phil Messina has announced his resignation from the city's top administrative position for personal reasons a year after taking the job.

Messina announced his resignation at Thursday's Ridgefield City Council meeting. Council members appointed Lee Knottnerus, Ridgefield's administrative services director and city clerk, to act as the interim city manager while the city starts its search for a permanent replacement.

Vancouver-based financial consultant Paul Lewis will also assist the city. He previously served as the city's interim city manager for seven months in 2012.

During his employment, Messina focused on making improvements to downtown Ridgefield and fostering development. A Washington native, Messina came to the city from Central Point, Ore., where he served as city administrator for a decade.

Mayor Ron Onslow said he was confident the city would move ahead with its growth goals and complete the 2014 budget in Messina's absence.