Big leadership changes for small city

Fircrest will get a new city manager and a new police chief in 2023.

City officials ended 2022 in the process of hiring an executive search firm to help recruit replacements for city manager Scott Pingel.and police chief John Cheesman. Pingel left his Fircrest position last August to become city manager of Newcastle in King County, while Cheesman is planning to retire next month.

Pingel headed Fircrest’s city departments since 1994. Mayor Brett Wittner said Pingel was instrumental in the construction of the city’s new public swimming pool and community center, as well as improved “efficiency and effectiveness” of municipal systems and staffing.

Fircrest has a population of about 7,100.

Colleen Corcoran, the city’s finance director, is serving as interim city manager until a full-time hire is made.

Cheesman, who has spent his entire 40-year career in law enforcement with the Fircrest Police Department, announced his retirement plans last year.