North Plains hires new city manager
For the first time since 2015, the city of North Plains will fill its top administrative job.
Andy Varner was named the new North Plains City Manager, Mayor Teri Lenahan announced during her State of the City address on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
Varner currently serves as the city administrator in Sand Point, Alaska, a rural city of fewer than 1,000 people near Alaska's Aleutians islands, 500 miles west of Anchorage. His first day at the city will be Feb. 1.
Varner has spent the majority of his career in Alaska, previously serving as economic development coordinator for the city of Kenai, and later as executive director of the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference, a regional economic and community development organization.
"SWAMC gave Andy a unique exposure to the challenges and opportunities of many different communities in the region, from Kodiak to Bristol Bay to the isolated Pribilof Islands," the city of North Plains said in a news release. "This regular contact with mayors, managers and organizations all throughout Southwest Alaska led Andy to join the Sand Point staff."
Varner holds a degree in business from the University of Missouri and a master's degree in public policy and administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
The city manager reports to the North Plains City Council and oversees most of the day-to-day operations in the city, in addition to working with outside organizations like Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and the Washington County Sheriff's Office, which both serve the city.
Varner's salary in North Plains will be $105,000 per year.
The city of North Plains has been without a full-time administrator for more than two years. In 2015, the city opted not to renew the contract of former City Manager Martha DeBry. At the time, then-City Councilor Scott Whitehead said the council had not been pleased by Debry, and believed she and the city were "moving in different directions."
Lenahan told the Tribune last year that the city has opted to go without a permanent city manager in order to save costs. Since DeBry's departure, the top spot has been run in an interim capacity by Public Works Director Blake Boyles. Otterman returned to North Plains to serve as interim city manager last July.