Pasco City Manager plans to retire in June

PASCO, Wash. - Gary Crutchfield has been with the city of Pasco since Jimmy Carter was in office. As the city manager for three decades, he's played a key role in Pasco's development. He's giving six months' notice that he'll retire this summer.

Mayor Matt Watkins said, "It's a bittersweet feeling. I'm happy for him. He's leaving on his terms completely on his terms."

Crutchfield has certainly left an impression on neighbors.

"He's a normal person, eating at Wendy's, like me, and he seemed very approachable," said Aaron Hines.

Crutchfield quickly explained one of his biggest accomplishment would be getting a handle on crime. He says the 1980's was a rough time for Pasco. It was third in the state for the highest crime rate. Crutchfield appealed to voters to raise taxes to pay for more officers. Today, Pasco is as safe as it's ever been.

"It took 20 years to change it, but it was certainly worth the effort," he said.

It's definitely a milestone accomplishment, but what about any do-overs?

He said,"Oh, I haven't thought about that. Ha, ha, ha. I'm only thinking about the positives."

He made it clear one topic was off limits, the annexation fight and strong mayor effort put forth by outspoken Pasco resident, Roger Lenk.

"I won't even get...nope," he said.

Crutchfield believes there's been a misconception about the kind of guy he is.
Thought of as a tough man, with somewhat of a heavy hand.

"There's a percentage that get bruised very deeply and very easily and they don't forget those things and over time those add up," he explained.

He talked about what's left on his to-do list, like the river walk. He'd still like to see it accomplished. But most of all, Crutchfield believes he's leaving Pasco in a good place with a bright future. He plans to stay here after he retires.

"I look forward to spending more time with my family and mowing my lawn," he said.

If no replacement is found by the time Crutchfield leaves office in June, the assistant city manager will take over until then.


Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield started a long career of service to the City in 1978 as the Community Development Director with the City of Pasco, population 17,000. Nearly 36 years later, the City has grown to over 65,000, and Crutchfield's career has also followed the upward path with promotion to the City Manager position in 1984, a post he has held through today.

That 36 year career reached its culmination when City Manager Crutchfield informed the City Council at last night's meeting that he was going to retire from public service in June.

Crutchfield has been recognized many times over the years for his leadership, receiving the "Pathfinder" Award from the Washington Research Council in 1996, the "Outstanding Support" Award from the Southeast Washington Association of School Districts in 2003, and the "Sam Volpentest Leadership" Award in 2009.