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Deputy MI city manager takes job in Sequim

It came as a surprise to City Manager Rich Conrad, but he is happy that his interim deputy recently accepted a job offer to take the helm in Sequim, a community on the Olympic Peninsula.

Last week, the Sequim City Council offered Mercer Island’s interim deputy city manager, Linda Herzog, $7,083 per month to run the city of Sequim as an interim city manager. Herzog took the job and started last Wednesday, although she plans to return to the Island tomorrow and Friday to wrap up a few things.

“This came up quicker than I had hoped, but I am really happy for her,” City Manager Rich Conrad said. “She’s very talented and just was a wonderful addition to our team while we had her here.”

Conrad said that he hopes to have a new, permanent deputy by next March.

Conrad said that he will appoint Police Chief Ed Holmes as the acting city manager if he needs to be absent from an upcoming City Council meeting or if another absence comes up.

Herzog was on her third stint filling in at the city. Prior to serving as the deputy city manager, she worked for the city to resolve an outcome concerning the city of Renton’s plans for a corporate jet center. Prior to working on the Renton Airport’s defunct idea of the jet center, Herzog had worked for the city of Renton.

“She knew everybody and was a great resource for the two cities to work together,” Conrad said.

She also represented the city when she was selected by a consortium of Eastside cities to be the lead facilitator of a proposed regional municipal jail. Going further back, Conrad said that Herzog first worked for the city about five years ago when his office’s work load was “as high as it’s ever been.” Herzog worked with then-deputy city manager Deb Symmonds.

Herzog was appointed interim deputy city manager after Conrad fired his former assistant and former City Attorney Londi Lindell in April. Lindell has filed a claim for $1 million, stating that it was an unlawful termination. She also announced her intention to sue the city, but has not filed a lawsuit to date.

Herzog and her husband, Stan Nealey, own a house in Quilcene, which is about 30 miles south of Sequim. They plan to move there permanently, although Herzog said that she will live in Sequim while working for the city.

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