Anderson sworn in as Tacoma City Manager

Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson was sworn in during a noon ceremony yesterday in council chambers at City Hall, where more than 100 city staffers, community leaders, and members of the media witnessed the event.

“It’s a great pleasure to join you here as city manager,” said Anderson, in a short speech to the Mayor and City Council. Anderson started the job July 15 and succeeded Jim Walton, who retired June 30. “This is a great personal privilege and fulfillment of my dream. I plan to commit myself to be the best city manager I can be, doing what I love to do for people that I work for.”

Anderson, 59, was selected from a field of 41 candidates and left the city manager post in Des Moines, Iowa, to take the top job in Tacoma. He has worked as a city manager for three decades: in Des Moines from 1995 to 2005, Evanston, Illinois from 1991 to 1995, and Eau Claire, Wisconsin from 1984 to 1991.

“You bring to the city a robust resume of experience,” Mayor Bill Baarsma told Anderson. “I’m confident you have the ability, capacity, and experience to guide this body.”

Deputy Mayor Connie Ladenburg said, “We are a city moving forward. You come to us at a time when you can take us forward.”

Referring to Anderson’s brief comments, Ladenburg joked, “I can tell you are not a politician because your speech was brief and to the point.”

Though his comments were brief, Anderson provided insight into his vision for Tacoma in a message to City Hall in Take 5 — a newsletter distributed to city staff.

“While I get up to speed, I plan to focus my time on listening, getting started on the budget and working with the executive leadership team to strategically evaluate the state of Tacoma and the course we need to take over the next few years,” Anderson wrote. “It is imperative in these days of tight revenues and rapidly escalating costs that a city government provide the right services for its community – and give its citizens the highest value in each at the lowest possible cost. The quality of life within the community is a reflection of how effectively the government fulfills this task.”