Mount Angel hires new manager
The city of Mount Angel announced that it has hired Kevin Cronin as its new city manager.
Cronin, who currently is an assistant city manager for the north Oregon coast city of Warrenton, will take over the duties from Gene Green, who has served as Mount Angel's interim city manager since October 2019, following the resignation of Amber Mathiesen.
Cronin is a Nittany Lion, having graduated from Penn State in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in general arts and environmental sciences. He earned a master's degree in community and regional planning from the University of Oregon in 2001 and a project management certificate from Portland State University in 2010.
In addition to assisting the city manager, Cronin has worked as the community development director in Warrenton, where he has been since June 2018. He was Astoria's community development director from July 2015 to October 2017.
"Warrenton is kind of in the shadow of Astoria, and part of the work I did in Warrenton was to bring it up from its branding," Cronin said. "We turned that ship around and really put it on good footing."
There was good material to work with in pursuing that objective, and Cronin feels Mount Angel has a unique appeal as well.
"I just fell in love with the (north coast) area; I loved the river and being on the beach and seafood for that matter," said Cronin, who lives in Portland and has three kids, a 14-year-old son, Kieran, and daughters Makenna, 11, and Teagan, 7.
"What I like about Mount Angel is that it's a small town and it aligns with my experience and skills," Cronin said. "Mount Angel has an amazing culture: German Bavarian and Catholic … just like my own background.
"I've always had my eye on Mount Angel as a place I wanted to spend more time. I never thought I would be city manager there, but I've driven through it many times on my way to Silverton and to go hiking at Silver Falls."
Between 2007 and 2015, Cronin worked for the Portland Development Commission as a project manager and business development coordinator, and he was a planning director in Sherwood for about 2½ years prior to that.
Mount Angel City Council President Pete Wall said the city retained the firm of Prothman Associates to assist in the recruitment. The recruitment proved to be a challenging task, complicated by COVID-19 procedure-altering demands.
"There have been other virtual recruitments since Covid became part of our lives, but I have not been able to find another recruitment of a city manger anywhere else in the nation that has been conducted in this manner," Wall said.
Wall and councilors Ray Eder and Matt Donohue represented the city during the recruitment process. Major aspects of it were conducted by teleconference or video conference.
"(Cronin) has a strong employment and educational background that meets the city's needs," Wall said. "He was very friendly and enthusiastic in his interview and subsequent contacts. A few things I personally look for in a city manager is enthusiasm, and the ability to fit well with the community and project a positive image for the city."
Mount Angel City Council approved the hire during its June 16 meeting. Cronin will begin his position with the city on July 1.
"Kevin's energy, smarts and drive will be missed," Warrenton City Manager Linda Engbretson told the Astorian. "Those are some big shoes to fill. He's been a great member of the Warrenton team."
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