Portland councilors conduct first review of city manager in 3 years

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The Portland City Council last week held its first performance review in several years of City Manager Jon Jennings.

Councilors met in executive session on Tuesday, Oct. 6. They typically meet on Mondays and held a regularly scheduled meeting the day before. The Council also had a tentative second review session of Jennings planned for Thursday, Oct. 8, when they had an emergency meeting scheduled, but it was not needed.

Portland City Manager Jon Jennings

City Hall spokesperson Jessica Grondin said she believed this was the first time in three years the council reviewed Jennings, who has been city manager since the summer of 2015.

Mayor Kate Snyder on Tuesday said she couldn’t reveal what was discussed in the closed-door performance review, but acknowledged the council went through an evaluation process that hadn’t been done in “quite some time,” and that it is “obliged” to do. 

“It’s a personnel matter,” Snyder said. “We don’t do other employee review processes publicly.”

She said discussions regarding a possible contract extension and any changes to Jennings’ contract, which expires July 13, 2021, would be conducted publicly. 

Under Jennings’ current agreement, his renewal or termination must be decided no later than three months prior to the expiration of his contract, or by next April 13. Renewal would require support from at least five councilors in a public vote. 

Jennings’s contract was renewed for three years in November 2017; his annual salary is nearly $170,000. He was originally hired with a salary of just over $148,000.