New search for SeaTac City Manager set after recent finalist takes job elsewhere

By Jack Mayne

At the beginning of 2019 the SeaTac City Council will begin its second search for a new city manager to replace retiring Joe Scorcio.

Previously selected top candidate Christopher J. Dennis has turned the job down for a position elsewhere, and the Council has decided to reopen the application period for the job, but not until next January because of the upcoming holiday season.

At a special closed door executive meeting on Tuesday (Aug. 28), the Council decided to open a new search at the end of December to avoid the year-end holidays.

Dennis notified the city of his rejection just last week even as the city staff was beginning to formulate and negotiate an employment contract with him.

Now, for at least a few weeks into the 2019 year, Scorcio has agreed to stay as city manager.

Sources say that he other two top candidates for the job were not seriously considered for the position and that a new election process was needed.

‘Unique candidate’
Dennis was the only candidate nominated by Councilmember Joel Wachtel who said Dennis was “a unique individual.” All members of the Council echoed his selection and no other candidate was nominated by members nor were there any adverse comments from Councilmembers about Dennis.

Dennis is recently retired from the U.S. Navy with the rank of captain. He is from New Smyrna Beach, Fla, is a graduate of Auburn University, and has a master of arts in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College. Highlighting nearly three decades of afloat and ashore service, Dennis served as the commanding officer of: Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy; Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 46; and the University of Michigan Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.

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