Current Columbia City police chief hired to fill admin role; new police sergeant also hired

Mike McGlothlinColumbia City will have a new city administrator in January, but the face will be familiar to many.

Mike McGlothlin, who serves as the Columbia City chief of police, will transition to city administrator and recorder, a position being vacated by Leahnette Rivers.

The City Council of Columbia City approved a personal services agreement last week outlining the job description and responsibilities for the role, along with other terms of the contract.

Rivers, who has worked with Columbia City since 1999, earlier this year decided to retire at the end of 2018. Since then, she has been working with McGlothlin to help him prepare to take over her duties.

McGlothin said he has always enjoyed working with local government and added he is excited to take on the new opportunity — and also humbled to have been selected for the job.

"Government that works closely with the citizens has the most rewards," McGlothlin said. "It's almost like a promotional process. It's like I'm moving from being a department head to doing more of a supervisory role."

McGlothlin was hired to work with Columbia City in 2009 and has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience. In 2015, McGlothlin earned his master's degree in public administration.

Earlier this year, the city hired Jerry Bartolomucci to fill a Columbia City Police Department sergeant vacancy. Bartolomucci previously worked with the Tigard and Vernonia police departments for a total of 28 years. He retired from Tigard in fall 2017, but was looking for an opportunity to return to police work when he applied for the Columbia City job, McGlothin said.

"We're glad to have him aboard," McGlothlin said.

In addition to taking on the current responsibilities of city administrator, McGlothlin will retain some of his police oversight responsibilities. Bartolomucci will predominately cover daily duties for the police department and will act as the first line of direct supervision for the city's two full-time, three part-time and two volunteer reserve officers.

McGlothlin will enter his new role with the city at a time when other changes are in the works. Casey Wheeler was recently elected to fill the mayor's seat after longtime Mayor Cheryl Young made the choice not to run again for the position, citing health concerns. Sue Ziglinski will also start work on the City Council as the newest elected member.

Working with new elected city officials will be another exciting challenge, McGlothlin explained.

"It's a great opportunity," he said. "In a lot of ways it'll be continuing to grow and taking advantage of relationships that we already have in place."

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