Newberg's search for a new city manager begins
(Editor's note: The opinion expressed here represents the view of the author as in not necessarily the view of the Newberg City Council or the city of Newberg)
As you learned here in the pages of our hometown newspaper, our current city manager, Joe Hannan will retire on Aug. 31. Joe and his wife Shelli plan to stay in the area so you are likely to see them at local events and activities. Please thank them for their service to our fair city.
The city manager is a very significant hire. In the business world if the city council is the board of directors (unpaid), the city manager is the chief executive officer (paid). The significance is amplified for us as I believe our community is at a critical juncture in its history. The decisions we make over the next three to five years will impact our home far, far into the future.
With 144 employees and a $113 million budget (all funds), the city of Newberg is no small operation. Our next city manager needs to display the skills that it takes to be the successful CEO of a thriving business, a business with nearly 24,000 customers. Experience with government accounting, public works, public safety, human resources, business development, planning and zoning, library services and information technology are essential. Add to this team building and management and you have some of the skills we seek.
If I were to write a letter to a potential recruit (someone we hope to hire) here's some of what it might say:
Dear City Manager Recruit:
Thank you so much for your interest in becoming Newberg's next city manager.
In short, I think this community is poised to become even more special and I think you are the person to lead us there.
I see (and hope you do too) opportunities in the closed mill site, urban renewal, downtown improvement, expanding medical offerings, agriculture, international business, tourism, a vibrant faith/volunteer community and strong relationships with local businesses, George Fox University, the school district, and parks and recreation.
Our residents are engaged, active and proud of their home. Many studies have shown that Newberg residents want to retain our city's small town feel while avoiding provincialism. I happen to believe this desired mix is the perfect combination.
With this, please do consider helping us become the best darn city in the Willamette Valley, if not the state, if not the region. Why not the country?
Again, I think you are the person to take us there.
So, the challenge: How does this community of 24,000 move forward in an orderly manner while maintaining fiscal conservatism and livability? This may be the question for every community throughout the country, but here, I believe, we can truly make it happen and in so doing be a model for others. A model that shows the power and responsibility of local government.
I hope you will consider Newberg.
Thank you again.
Readers: please wish us luck in our pursuit of the perfect candidate. You deserve the very best.
Rick Rogers is in his first term as mayor of Newberg
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