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City Manager Denise Carey will retire in February; city is working with Jensen Strategies to find her successor.

The process of hiring a new city manager was the topic of discussion at a recent Estacada City Council workshop.

Longtime Estacada City Manager Denise Carey is retiring in February, and the city is working with Jensen Strategies to find her successor.

During a workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 9, via Zoom, Erik Jensen and the Estacada City Council discussed the next steps of the process. Previously, staff at Jensen held one-on-one interviews with members of the council, facilitated online staff and community surveys and held a public input session for community members.

Using the information from these events, Jensen Strategies created a position profile for the city manager role, which will be adopted during a future Estacada City Council meeting along with a hiring process outlined by Jensen.

The profile states that the city manager position requires a bachelor's degree in public administration, planning, political science or a related field; at least three years of upper-level local government management experience; and at least three years of upper-level local government management experience.

"The city manager should be an experienced manager and leader with an ability to provide clear direction, effectively manage multiple departments, balance priority initiatives, develop and inspire staff to foster a professional, high functioning and responsive organizational environment," the profile reads. "An ability to engage staff and facilitate organizational modernization to meet contemporary service delivery needs and efficiencies is important. As a leader, an ability to help the organization envision, plan, and address long-term growth and other challenges is essential. The city manager should value and practice teamwork, collaboration, transparency (and) inclusivity."

The city manager should also have strong communication skills and engage with the City Council, city staff, other local government officials, community groups, nonprofit organizations and citizens.

"The manager is expected to maintain, strengthen and expand the city's community involvement approaches to facilitate and encourage citizen engagement in city decision-making, and uphold the principles of transparency, inclusion and public participation," the profile states.

The city manager should have experience in public finance, public infrastructure management, communication and economic development; dedication to intergovernmental relations and diversity, equity and inclusion; and familiarity with the council-manager form of city government.

It's also valuable that the city manager has an appreciation for Estacada.

"The city manager role is a high-profile local leader who should appreciate the unique attributes that make Estacada a friendly town with a strong sense of community. Estacada is a growing, diversifying population that is proud of its rural and agricultural heritage where community members care for one another and value the natural beauty, events and recreational amenities that foster a sense of community," the profile states. "The next city manager should appreciate Estacada's unique qualities and be willing to become an invested member of the community."

Next steps

The City Manager position will be advertised from Nov. 29 to Dec. 24. Phone interviews with qualified candidates will take place in January, followed by a selection of finalists during a City Council executive session.

Per Oregon law, the City Council will formally designate the finalists at a regular business meeting open to the public.

Prior to the final interviews, two receptions with candidates will be held via Zoom. The first reception will be open to the city staff, and the second reception will be open to members of the public.

"Finalists will be interviewed in-person by three panels consisting of (1) the City Council, (2) local government managers from other jurisdictions and (3) a panel of community members and an optional fourth panel of department heads. Interviewers will receive an informational packet containing interview questions and comprehensive information on each finalist. After panel interviews have been completed, the council, in an executive session, will be presented with feedback from the other three to four panels, the staff and community receptions and results of background and reference checks. The consultant will facilitate the council in reaching consensus on its preferred candidate," information from Jensen Strategies stated.


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