City narrows search to three firms to recruit new city manager
The city of Newberg will likely name its preferred firm to help find the next city manager on Monday, as a subcommittee has narrowed its choices down to three.
However, those firms will not have the option of selecting the man currently in the position to remain on full time.
David Clyne, the city manager pro tem, said he is not interested in remaining on once his contract is up. Clyne came out of retirement to serve as the interim city manager after former manager Joe Hannan retired in July. Clyne is the former city manager of Independence and has 40 years of experience working in municipal government.
Clyne said the city manager recruitment subcommittee has narrowed down its choices of recruitment firms down to three: Jensen Strategies of Portland; Waldron, which has offices in Portland, Seattle, San Fransisco and Scottsdale; and Prothman Executive, based in Washington. Clyne said the subcommittee has already informed the eight other potential search firms that they are out of the running. The hope is to select a firm by Sept. 3.
Clyne said it was important that they use firms based in the Northwest as the search will likely be confined to candidates in the western United States. The city had also previously stated its candidates would likely come from Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho, although California candidates could be out of the city's price range. He added that the search firm may also look toward western Colorado as well.
"I think the belief was always this be a western state search," he said, adding they want to find a candidate who is familiar with the types of local governments in this part of the county. "The western states have a similar way of looking at local government. They tend to be of a type that brings a skill set that is familiar between states. Ideally you would find candidates with a good understanding of Oregon."
One candidate the firm will not be looking at is Clyne himself, who came out of retirement to help Newberg transition into new leadership. He said not only is he happy to return to retirement once he's finished here, but part of his agreeing to take over in the interim basis was that he not be considered as a candidate for the job.
"They should not have an inside candidate," Clyne said. "When city managers are out looking for opportunites they want to know if there is competition from existing staff."
Essentially, this could keep qualified candidates from applying, he said. So to give the city the broadest range of possible candidates, Clyne said he told the council when he was hired not to consider him as Hannan's replacement.
"It was my recommendation that the interim not be a candidate for the position," he said.
As for where the city goes from here, Clyne said city staff will craft a job description for the position to put out in a brochure for advertising. The recruiter will put that together, as well as discuss pay range with the city. After all that they will begin the recruitment process, as marketing takes about a month.
"They'll be looking to bring in the broadest pool of candidates to do the work here and get started," Clyne said.
From there the process will enter candidate screening, interviews, community engagement and steps like that. Hannan had said city councilors may want to visit the cities where the finalists are working to get a sense of how they are in the community.
Clyne said the city is hopeful to begin negotiations with a manager candidate in December, with the hope that he or she can come on board "as soon as possible" after that.
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