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Council resolution lets retiring manager negotiate terms with Prothman company.

The Wood Village City Council voted unanimously Tuesday, May 28, on a resolution to allow retiring City Manager Bill Peterson to negotiate with recruitment firm Prothman Company in the search for his replacement.

A review panel recommended Prothman as the firm to hire after evaluating five submitted applications. The team comprises Peterson, Mayor Scott Harden, Councilor John Miner, Finance Director Seth Reeser and Public Works Director John Niiyama.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Bill Peterson , Gresham Outlook - News Bill Peterson to continue on part-time basis for square-mile city until fall, 2019  Wood Village renews city manager contract

The group members all ranked Prothman, based in Issaquah, Wash., as their top selection.

"What made Prothman my No. 1 choice is their close ties to the Northwest," Harden said. "They don't only recruit from the Northwest, but they know the needs of the Northwest."

The cost for Prothman's Wood Village recruitment is estimated at $24,100, plus candidate travel expenses. The city's adopted yearly budget includes $40,000 for the manager search.

One advantage the selected firm has, Peterson added, is its recruitment guarantee. If the City Council fires the next manager — or if he or she resigns without cause — within 18 months, the firm will perform another recruitment, at almost no cost.

"They do provide a warranty," Peterson said. "If it doesn't work out, they'll start over and charge no base fee."

Wood Village will still be on the hook for additional candidate travel expenses.

Moving forward

Peterson was hired by Wood Village in 2011 as the city's full-time manager. In 2017, he retired from his position, but continued to work for Wood Village on a half-time basis. Greg Dirks, Wood Village's human resources and records manager, fills in with city management duties when Peterson is absent.

Peterson is also familiar with Prothman because he's used the firm when seeking city management positions. Prothman recruited Peterson in 2011 to serve as Wood Village's city manager.

"I think they did an outstanding job last time," Peterson said with a laugh. PMG PHOTO: MATT DEBOW - Scott Harden , Gresham Outlook - Opinion We must be thankful they are out there whether we agree with their politics or not. We share a value, making our community a better place. Appoint a Secretary of State  as good as Dennis Richardson

Councilor Miner noted the firm's experience with finding a manager in 2011 will help them locate Peterson's replacement this time around.

"Prothman already knows the community, and that can help us make a good match," Miner said.

Contact Gresham Outlook Reporter Matt DeBow at 503-492-5115, or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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