Interim manager drawn to new job

Linda Herzog, who officially took over as interim city manager for Sequim on Tuesday, said one reason she accepted the job was a desire to move west after 20 years living in King County.

The city council unanimously approved Herzog's nine-month contract during its Monday study session.

Herzog said she visited Friday to talk with city staff and will be in

Sequim from Wednesday through Friday of this week, then Monday through Wednesday of next week.

Dec. 11-12 she will return to

Mercer Island to wrap up a few things as interim assistant city manager before returning to work in Sequim.

She hopes to move to the area permanently in January.

Herzog and her husband, Stan Nealey, have a summer house in Quilcene that will become a permanent home although she will live in Sequim while working for the city.

She opted for a housing allowance in her contract instead of a car allowance, Herzog said, because she would like to walk to work and also doesn't relish the thought of driving back and forth from Quilcene every day, especially on U.S. Highway 101.

The couple still lives in Redmond, east of Seattle, which is where they met 11 years ago when Herzog was working as deputy city executive from 1991-2001.

"I met my husband there, who was living just a mile away. It was just pure coincidence. Redmond's public works director knew him from Colorado and introduced us," Herzog said.

Herzog, 50, describes herself as "itinerant," with a resume that includes numerous jobs including associate director of the University of Washington's Urban Health Initiative from 2003-2005.

Other positions in addition to those in Redmond and Mercer Island have included regional inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, King County Jail Task Force and interim assistant to the chief administrative officer in Renton.

"But I don't know exactly why. I've really enjoyed every job I've been at, then I see something that looks more enticing. I love city government work," she said.

Regarding a council that will be undertaking team-

building exercises prior to its city manager search, Herzog said, "Any council that has four new members all at once will have issues."

Herzog said a large part of the job's attraction was moving west.

"I have been in the King County area for 20 years. My husband was retired when we met 11 years ago. We bought property in Quilcene in October 2002 and completed a house there four years later," she said.

They used the house on weekends but then those weekends became more and more interesting, Herzog said.

"So, despite being a city person, I was very drawn to that area and reluctant to return to city life. Sequim is a delightful town so I hope to make the transition over there. I'll do some networking and see if there's other things or else retire like my husband," she said.

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