Battle Ground city manager among finalists for top administrative job in Pasco

By Justin Runquist, Columbian small cities reporter

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Battle Ground City Manager John Williams is a finalist for the top administrative job with the city of Pasco.

Williams is one of four candidates to be the next city manager for the midsize Central Washington city. He met with dozens of residents Wednesday and the Pasco City Council is convening a closed-door meeting today to discuss the candidates.

Williams is competing with three other men with experience as top administrators in North Las Vegas, Fife and Flathead County, Mont. A fifth finalist from Rancho Mirage, Calif. withdrew Wednesday.

If he gets the job, Williams will move on from managing a city of fewer than 19,000 to a city of more than 65,000. Williams assumed into his current role after former Battle Ground city manager Dennis Osborn was suspended and then fired in early 2010 after drawing criticism for firing a popular police chief.

Williams was not available for comment, and he will be out of town for the rest of the week, said Bonnie Gilberti, a spokeswoman for the city of Battle Ground.