Cornelius picks new city manager
The Cornelius City Council has picked a new city manager.
The city government announced that officials are negotiating a contract with Peter Brandom, a senior program manager for nearby Hillsboro, on Friday, Aug. 12.
A city news release stated the interview process in Cornelius included staff and community receptions and panel interviews by community leaders, peer public administrators and city department heads.
"(Brandom) came to the interviews and had really done his homework with the city. He understood the issues — the transportation issues and housing going forward. We've got a real job and housing imbalance, and he understood that," Mayor Jef Dalin said. "He understood the economic diversity of our community from management at Intel or doing service level work at Intel — that full spectrum of the community he seemed to understand."
Brandom has 14 years of local government management experience. Previously, he worked as a consultant for Booze Allen Hamilton in Arlington, Virginia, and as a land protection specialist for the Yampa Valley Land Trust in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Cornelius is growing. Population jumped from 11,020 in 2010 to an estimated 13,498 in 2021 — a 22.5% increase — and city officials say the majority of that growth occurred in the last five years.
As manager, Brandom will oversee a city government with 48.5 full-time positions. Fourteen of those are full-time police officers contracted through the Washington County Sheriff's Office, which provides policing services in Cornelius.
"I am privileged and honored to have the opportunity to lead the great city of Cornelius," Brandom said in a statement. "The organization and the community are in a great place, thanks to years of steady leadership, and I look forward to serving an amazing community with a bright future."
Brandom, who holds a master's degree in environmental sustainability from the University of Edinburgh and a bachelor's degree in international studies from University of Denver, was selected from a shortlist of three finalists.
The other finalists were John Cárdenas, a construction business and workforce senior project manager for Prosper Portland who previously worked under former Portland Mayor Tom Potter as a policy manager, and Gabriel Martin, current city manager in Coachella, California, who previously worked as a program manager in Redmond.
Brandom's hiring is not official until a contract is finalized, and his start date has yet to be announced.
Outgoing city manager Rob Drake is retiring after four decades of public service in Washington County. Drake said his last day on the job could be Aug. 31.
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