A subcommittee formed to select Portland’s next city manager will not meet again until after the Nov. 8 election — which means they may never meet again.
That’s because if Question 2 were to pass, the subcommittee would no longer be needed because the responsibility of naming a city manager would rest with the mayor.
Yet that power would not be claimed until a new mayor is elected in 2023, according to city officials, meaning appointment of a city manager or chief administrative officer would be on hold until then.
Effectively, this means that interim City Manager Danielle West would remain in place, assuming she agrees to remain in the position she has held since November 2021 when former City Manager Jon Jennings resigned to accept a manager position in Florida. If Question 2 were to fail, the subcommittee wants to post a job description right away in order to begin the hiring process for a permanent manager.
At their Oct. 13 meeting, the panel met with Art Davis, director at the search firm Baker Tilly, who said he and his team could meet virtually with local stakeholder groups this week as part of their process.
The panel and city staff hope to post a job shortly after the Nov. 8 election for the city manager position, though that’s complicated by the outcome of Charter Commission Question 2, which could change the governance structure of the city from a council-mayor to executive-mayor model.
The panel – which includes Mayor Kate Snyder and Councilors Pious Ali, Mark Dion and April Fournier – identified several areas the next manager would address, including rising housing costs, homelessness, the opioid epidemic, mental health issues, partnerships with city and school department staff, regional partnerships, and community engagement.
Davis said the group will reconvene on Nov. 10 if necessary.