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Williams has served as community development director and deputy city manager for several years

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - WILLIAMSWith West Linn City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos leaving the city at the end of next month, the West Linn City Council has unanimously decided to offer the chief executive position to Deputy City Manager and Community Development Director John Williams.

Williams, who came to the city five years ago after various planning roles with Metro, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the city of Canby, was nearly named city manager in 2020, when the council (which included three members who have since left office) gave the job to Gabrielatos instead. After an eight-month recruitment process, Williams and Gabrielatos were the two finalists for the position.

In the intervening period between the departure of Gabrielatos' predecessor Eileen Stein and Gabrielatos' onboarding, Williams served as interim city manager.PMG FILE PHOTO - Gabrielatos

When the council announced its intention to offer Williams the position at a meeting Monday, July 25, members of council commended Williams' leadership experience both at West Linn City Hall and elsewhere in the region.

Councilor Todd Jones said that for the past two years, the city has effectively had two city managers because of how closely Williams and Gabrielatos have worked together.

"John is effective. He makes things happen and he gets things done," Jones said.

Members of the council said they've recently met with Williams individually to chat about him taking the role and his vision for the city. They also said they'd like him to meet with the community in the coming weeks to discuss his goals for the city and hear thoughts from residents.

"I feel confident he can provide stability for the city when there's been an immense level of staff turnover and uncertainty," Council President Rory Bialostosy said.

In the coming weeks, members of council, the city attorney's office and Williams will work out the details of his new contract.

Williams did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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