Jon Amundson to become Richland City Manager

On Tuesday the Richland City Council, after months of deliberation, will take “interim” off Jon Amundson’s title and make him the city manager. The contract is included in this week’s council packet. pg. 163-170.

His base salary will be $205,000 with $500 a month for a car and also health insurance and other benefits.

Note that on page 167, “Severance Pay,” the contract reads, …” Amundson shall receive a lump sum payment equal to three (3) months of salary as severance, rather than the two months provided for in the Richland City Charter.”

The council ignores the city charter when it’s convenient. It was never clear that Cindy Reents lived in Richland as required by the charter.

At the council retreat in September, the council discussed putting charter amendments on the ballot in November 2022. The city attorney told the council that voters had to approve each change not a bundle of changes.

Their interest seemed to wain as different possible amendments were discussed. It seems to the council that it is easier to just ignore the provisions when the need arises.

Amundson replaces former city manager Cindy Reents who resigned by mutual agreement with the council in January after serving for 13 years as city manager.

Amundson has been the assistant city manager since 2008.

This week the Observer tested the link to Zoom to make sure it works. Residents can also watch the meeting on Cable Channel 192 or stream it via City View.

The instructions for commenting on hearing items or during the citizen comment period are at the top of the agenda. Your deadline for asking to comment is 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday.


1.Welcome for new hires and recognition for new retirees.

Public Hearings – 3 minutes for comments if you registered before the deadline.

2. Collective bargaining agreement with the Southeast Washington Telecommunicators Guild. These are our 911 responders. Pg. 47-84.

3. Adoption of the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Amendments and the zoning map. Pg. 173-810.  The council approved a lot of zoning changes earlier this year. They will amend the comprehensive plan and the maps to include those changes.

4. Proposed vacation of a portion of Keene Court Right-of-way Pg. 15-19. This will facilitate development on the other side of this dead end.

Public Comments — only two minutes here so talk fast.

5. Approval of the Nov. 16 meeting minutes.

6. The city will vacate a portion of Keene Court to facilitate development at the end of it. Pg. 15-19.

7. The city councilmembers will approve an increase in the salary of councilmembers. Beginning in 2025, councilmembers will receive $1329 a month. The mayor will receive an extra $250.  The Observer wrote an article in 2020 that describes 2019 salaries for area councilmembers.  Pg. 20-23.

8. This amends the Richland Municipal Code related to Solid Waste. The Observer will not beat a dead horse. This was discussed on Nov. 15. Pg. 24-44.

9. Adjusting the contract with Itron, Inc. for the Electric and water advanced metering infrastructure System. There was a boo-boo in how they described the payment in the contract, so they fixed it.  Pg. 45-46

10. Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Southeast Washington Telecommunicators Guild. These are the folks who answer the 911 calls. Pg. 47-84.

11. Approving the final plat of Jericho Ridge, 6.52 acres will include 12 lots. Pg. 85-113.

12. Authorizing a change order to a contract with Doolittle Construction related to the 2021 Slurry Seal Project. This adds some striping and makes some changes that include Port of Benton.  Pg. 114-116

13. This authorizes Apollo, Inc. to complete watermain replacement and road improvements on Torbett between Thayer and Stevens and McPherson between Williams and Symonds. Pg. 117-129. Will road improvements include traffic circles?

14. The city will pay Columbia Center Estates $101,000 for property for the Center Parkway North Extension Project. $4000 will be spent on fees for the acquisition. Pg. 130-142

15. This approves the circulation of an Annexation Petition for the Badger Mountain Estates Annexation. Pg. 143-152.

16. Another annexation petition that will circulate is the one for the 300 acres of PNNL property in North Richland. Pg. 153-162

17. Jon Amundson’s contract Pg. 163-170

18. The appointment of Baily Entrikin to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. Pg. 171-172.

19. Approving changes to the Comprehensive Plan. Pg. 173-810

20. Approving changes to the zoning map. Pg. 173-810.

Blah, blah, blah city manager and city council

Secret executive session

21. To determine minimum offering price for sale or lease if disclosure would decrease price (30 minutes). The council can always come out and ask for more time and they often do.