Aurora recorder heading to Rainier
At its Monday, June 15, meeting, the Rainier City Council voted unanimously to approve a contract hiring W. Scott Jorgensen as its new city administrator.
Jorgensen, 40, has served as the city recorder for the city of Aurora since March 2018. Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to Oregon senators Alan DeBoer and Doug Whitsett. He earned an executive master's degree in Public Administration from Portland State University in 2017 and a bachelor's of science in journalism from Southern Oregon University in 2003.
"I look forward to the opportunity to work with Mayor Jerry Cole, Rainier's city council, its staff and its citizens," Jorgensen said.
"After a lengthy search for a city administrator, I'm pleased that we were able to hire Scott to fill the position," Cole said.
Jorgensen notified Aurora Mayor Brian Asher and the city council that he will officially serve as the city recorder through August 31 before taking on his new position in Rainier.
He described his time spent in Aurora as "truly rewarding."
"It's been an honor to see several projects around town evolve from concepts on paper to reality," Jorgensen said. "Together, we've celebrated the grand opening of Filbert's Farmhouse Kitchen. The Historical Society's preservation and research center has been another worthwhile addition. Portland Electrical Construction, Inc. is breaking ground on its commercial development. Conroy Classics should be doing the same in a matter of weeks. Peyton Circle is on track to begin new residential construction. Chugg Coffee should be opening very soon.
"At least six other commercial, residential and mixed use projects are also in the works. With your blessing, a disc golf course could be added to the city park," he added.
Jorgensen began his career as an award-winning journalist for various publications in Oregon, most recently with Pamplin Media Group in 2012-13. His career also included a stint as a news director and talk show host for the Grants Pass Broadcasting Corporation.
Over the years, he's reported on city government and covered council meetings in several small towns, including Jacksonville, Rogue River, Cave Junction and Estacada.
"That experience gave me a really good understanding of the inner workings of local government," Jorgensen said. "It inspired me to go back to school to start a career in city management and I've found it very rewarding."
Jorgensen has also written and published three books, including "Conversations with Atiyeh," which featured a series of interviews he did with late former Oregon Gov. Vic Atiyeh. Jorgensen is currently finishing a book about late former Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (he served as Richardson's legislative aide during the 2005 session).
Jorgensen is married with two children. He and his wife Kelsey live in Portland but plan to relocate to Columbia County. Jorgensen is scheduled to start with Rainier on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
--Woodburn Independent reporter Justin Much contributed to this story.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.