The Portland Phoenix

Portland city manager search to launch in January

Portland City Hall

Portland officials are now aiming to post the city manager position by the end of January, speeding up a previously proposed timeline of late February or early March.

Art Davis of Baker Tilly, the search firm hired by Portland to help conduct the search for a long-term city manager, said at the Nov. 16 search committee meeting that the goal is to post the position between Jan. 27 and the first week of February.

Davis will soon launch into meetings with various stakeholders — including leaders from schools, immigrant organizations, developers, social services and business groups — that will help finalize the job posting.

Councilor Mark Dion, who had proposed early March to have the posting go live, said this new target was acceptable, adding that it sends a message that the city has an “intentional process and it’s going to evolve in a managed way.”

The subcommittee will likely meet in December to hear from Davis how stakeholder interviews are progressing.

Davis said other cities he’s worked with haven’t sought the kind of stakeholder feedback that Portland has asked for. There’s usually a three-to-four-month process “depending on the complexity of the city,” as well as factors like the number of stakeholder interviews and number of applicants, he said.

“If you have longer time with an advertisement, you’ll get higher number of qualified candidates applying,” Davis said. He proposed having Portland’s posting stay up for 50 days.

Interim city manager Danielle West, who assumed the position in November 2021, told the Phoenix she is “actively considering” the permanent role and will decide to apply when the job is formally posted.

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