Sherwood narrows city manager search to one
The Sherwood City Council has selected a top candidate whom they hope will lead Sherwood as its next city manager — but they're not saying who it is just yet.
"Where we are in the process right now is the council has narrowed it down to their first choice candidate and we're trying to negotiate a contract, and if we get a contract negotiated successfully we'll take that to city council for their vote up or down," CityÂ AttorneyÂ Josh Sopher said last Thursday, Aug. 11.Â "Once we have confirmation that we've reached terms, then we'll release the name."
Sopher said he expects that to happen within the next two weeks, and that the council will likely schedule a special council meeting once the contract is finalized.
Sherwood received a total of 34 applicants from 13 different states for the job, which was held by Joe Gall for almost a decade.
Gall left to take a job with Clean Water Services in Hillsboro this past spring. Kristen Switzer, the city's director of community services, is currently serving as city manager pro tem.
Sopher confirmed that the city manager finalist was from Oregon.
Strategic Government Resources (or SGR), a Texas-based company that aids in executive recruitment, was the firm in charge of the search. The firm had explained to applicants that Sherwood's top executive needed to be a candidate who understood that 79% of Sherwood's assessed valuation comes from single and multi-family homes although only an estimated 8% of those actually work inside city limits.
"As a result, the City Council has established economic development as its top priority," SGR stated in a message to applicants. "Sherwood's new city manager will be an integral part of ensuring the successful execution of strategies to support new commercial/industrial development and diversification of the city's tax base."
It lists high priority projects a new manager would oversee to include connector roads between east and west in Sherwood, the expansion of Sherwood Broadband, evaluation or options for the city's urban growth boundary expansion option, and engagement with the city's urban renewal district.
Sopher said the semifinal stage of the candidate process included written questionnaires and video interviews, with final in-person interviews conducted with the top two candidates.
Those two finalists then came in for face-to-face interviews with the Sherwood City Council and talked with some city department directors a well.
In addition, a community panel talked with the finalists. That included a group consisting of a representative from the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce, another city manager from a different city and a representative from the League of Oregon Cities, Sopher said.
City staff also held a "meet and greet" breakfast with the finalists and gave them both a tour of the city on Aug. 6, Sopher said.
Sopher noted that once someone is hired, he or she will likely have to give 30 days' notice before beginning as Sherwood's new city manager.
"We want to get somebody here as soon as we can," said Sopher.
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