With a Feb. 16 deadline looming, Interim City Manager Danielle West has not yet made a decision whether she will apply for the permanent position. A city spokesperson said Monday morning that West was “going to take the weekend” to make a decision.
West, the city’s former corporation counsel, has long remained mum about whether she wants permanent city manager job. She had previously said she was not interested if its duties were to be changed as a result of the Charter Commission vote. The Charter Commission’s recommendation, which would have reduced the powers of the manager, were rejected by voters this past November. West assumed the role after former city manager Jon Jennings left Portland for the same job in Clearwater, Florida.
Baker Tilly, the search firm working with a Portland city manager search subcommittee, had talked to 44 potential candidates as of Feb. 9. After the deadline, the search firm plans to present materials from 10 to 15 semifinalists to the subcommittee. The position is open until filled, meaning if the subcommittee doesn’t like the pool of candidates, the job posting will remain open.
“Every step of our process helps you learn more information on the candidates,” Anne Lewis, a Baker Tilly representative, told the subcommittee, adding that she expects more candidates to apply.
Applicants for municipal jobs are confidential until a candidate is hired.
A finalist report will be presented to the subcommittee on March 9. Members will decide finalists by March 16.
Mayor Kate Snyder, who chairs the subcommittee, said she was hoping to bring finalists to Portland in the middle of April for interviews and city tours.
Baker Tilly received more than 700 responses to a community survey held in January gauging what residents and city staff were interested in when it came to management style. The response was one of the bigger responses Lewis had seen.
“This is a tool not just for your search today, but this is information the next manager can use for the immediate future,” Lewis said.