Sunnyside City Manager Martin Casey announced on Friday his intention to resign from the senior management role effective August 15.

“It’s been a conversation my family has been having frankly for awhile and with the pandemic: the question of where do we see ourselves have caused us a lot of reflection,” Casey acknowledged.

He and his partner will be leaving their current positions and their immediate plan is to return to their former Olympia residence in September, which they have been renting it out since Casey began carrying out his city duties in Jan. 2019.

They hope to settle in on their next career move by early fall with plans to try and remain in the Pacific Northwest.

“Taking a step back is sometimes hard to do when you’re focus is rightly so on the job in front of you. There’s important work that we’ve been doing and frankly, important work I hope to help Council and staff see get accomplished this summer before I do leave,” Casey said.

The City Council awarded the contract to begin work on the Midvale Road rehabilitation project on Monday, June 14.

“That’s going to be a huge benefit to the community,” Casey reported.

Another program which city leaders expect to make a big impact upon the community is The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The stimulus bill was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11 to speed up the U.S. recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession.

“That’s going to bring in about $4-million to Sunnyside over the next few years. Those are going to be important investments. So, I’m looking forward to helping council and staff to start making decisions and framing that session,” Casey said.

During his 2 ½ year tenure, Sunnyside brought all budget funds into balance and earned a clean state audit for the first time in a decade. The City received 52% voter approval to fund its Transportation Benefit District to support street infrastructure projects over the next ten years, according to the city media release on June 11.

“I’m really proud of Mr. Casey’s leadership and achievements for the city and appreciate his contributions to the community. I am hopeful we can bring on a strong successor who will continue our progress as we emerge together from the pandemic,” Sunnyside Mayor Francisco communicated.

On the public safety accomplishments under his administrative oversight, the city attained the longest period of more than 24 months without a homicide in a decade and enhanced staffing and equipment for Fire/EMS services.

“It’s very gratifying to see that you had an impact that’s been positive for the most part. Hopefully, it has positioned the city for further advancement going forward, Casey conveyed.

He is excited about exploring how his past experience as a senior manager and assistant director on the statewide level, along with the county director role, and now as chief executive for the city can be utilized in future career endeavors.

“Having had those perspectives across all three levels of government, at least in my experience is not common. There’s something I can do with that perspective specifically in some way. I don’t exactly know what that is yet but that’s one of those things I want to explore.”

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email PShelby@SunnysideSun.com

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