Yakima city manager candidates spend the day interviewing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima city manager candidates spend the day interviewing

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YAKIMA, Wash.--  Dick Zais was city manager since before 30 percent of voting age people in the city were even born.  So the chance to pick a new city manager is literally a first in a generation moment for many in Yakima.

After Tuesday's tour of the city, the candidates went through three hours of interviews with the city council, department heads, and a panel of community members.  They also carved out some time to talk to reporters.  They all talked about bringing economic growth and budget expertise.  But what would they do first as manager?

"I would spend certainly the first 90 days just trying to learn the community," answers candidate Don Cooper.

Candidate Jim Payne would focus on what local leaders tell him is most important.

"I think in terms of my priorities, I think they'll ultimately be set by the council," Payne told said.

Tim Hacker, on the other hand, would focus on his team.

"[My priorities will be] making sure that you have the right team put together that's going to move this community forward," Candidate Tim Hacker says.

A new manager could be voted on as soon as the July 19 city council meeting.

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