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Gladstone ready to pick new city administrator

List released of five finalists to be top official

It’s a political job: About six months after firing its city administrator, Gladstone is ready to hire a replacement from among a group of professionals who recently had to leave jobs leading their respective cities.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, the public is invited to meet the five finalists at a meet-and-greet at High Rocks Restaurant. By the end of the next day, Gladstone Interim City Administrator Ross Schultz expects the City Council will be ready to select a new manager. He said elected officials usually direct the interim city manager to negotiate a contract with their selection.

On Dec. 2, Schultz said that the candidates will meet separately with a groups of citizens and the City Council.

“The citizens will give feedback to City Council on the candidates, and then City Council will meet in executive session again to decide on a recommendation for a city manager,” Schultz said.

“It was a good pool of candidates, and 30 is a good number for a city the size of Gladstone,” Schultz said of the applicants. “There were easily 10 in the pool who could have done the job. Of the six that the council narrowed down as finalists (before one withdrew), all of them would be competent, and all of them have good track records.”

“They all read very well,” Gladstone City Councilor Steve Johnson said of the finalists’ résumés. “Somewhere in there, if we can come to an agreement, we’ve got our next city administrator.”

Here’s some information about the finalists, culled from their résumés and recent newspaper reports:

? Mark Bauer’s contract recently expired in Edgewood, Wash., which decided to adopt a strong-mayor rather than city-manager form of governance, forcing out Bauer through the ballot box. He previously was city administrator of Enumclaw, Wash., from 1999-2009, where he served first as public works/community development director for nine years. Earlier in his career, he was water division supervisor for Richland, Wash., and assistant manager/engineer for the Umpqua Basin Water Association.

? Bob Francis, a former city manager of Hood River, had irked that city’s elected officials, according to reports by the Hood River News, when he offered an interest-free deferment on industrial waste-treatment payments to a juice company that hired him as chief operating officer three days after he resigned from the city position. Francis told the newspaper that his prime motivation for offering the deferment was to keep Ryan’s Juice, one of the city’s largest employers, in town. Francis currently is executive director for the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments, based in The Dalles.

? Joe Hannan, who was Redmond’s city manager during its growth spurt throughout the 1990s, had his last paid gig in Palmer, Alaska. The Frontiersman newspaper reported that Hannan resigned after a year and a half because his managerial style, honed in larger communities in the Lower 48, was something of a mismatch with rural Palmer. Prior to that, he was the city administrator for Mukilteo, Wash., from 2007-14; economic development director for the City of Lakewood, Wash., from 2002-07; and city manager for Fife, Wash., from 2000-01.

? Eric Swanson was fired in June as city manager after three years by a 6-2 vote of the Medford City Council. The Mail Tribune reported that councilors said they felt Swanson was trying to manage the council rather than the council managing him, amid ongoing issues among councilors, Swanson, the chamber of commerce and Travel Medford. He previously was city manager for Roseburg for seven years; city manager for Yankton, S.D., for eight years; town manager for Hillsborough, N.C., for six years; and town manager for Southwest Harbor, Maine, for four years.

• Nolan Young, The Dalles’ city manager from 1997 to 2015, currently is interim administrator for that city’s broadband provider Quality Life Intergovernmental Agency. The Dalles City Council gave no reasons for firing Young by a 4-1 vote on Sept. 14. Previously, he was city manager for Reedsport, from 1985-96. He managed Clinton City, Utah, from 1983-85. Early in his career, he was assistant to the city manager at Milton-Freewater for three years.