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New city, new role

Joe Gall's work in Beaverton earns him top job in Fairview
by: Jonathan House, Joseph Gall, senior program manager for the Community Programs section of the Mayor’s Office, is leaving Beaverton after five years next week to take a new job as Fairview city administrator.

Beaverton will say goodbye next week to a strong community leader.

Joseph Gall, who has served for more than five years as the senior program manager for the Community Programs section of the Mayor's Office, is headed to Fairview to become the new city administrator.

In his role with Beaverton, Gall has led a 15-member team providing outreach and services to the community through the city's neighborhood and public involvement programs, code services, dispute resolution center, solid waste and recycling program, community gardens and graphic services.

He's also served as the project manager for several special projects including the creation of a $15 million community health clinic and housing project set to break ground next year in downtown.

'I've enjoyed having the opportunity to expand outreach programs and find new ways to communicate with citizens,' Gall said. 'I've learned a lot in my five-plus years here and think I will be a better city manager because of my time with the city of Beaverton.

'This city does a lot of things correctly and I'm really going to miss the people here. I've been fortunate to work with a great group of dedicated professionals and am pretty excited and proud of what we have been able to accomplish.'

Gall will be missed in Beaverton, city officials said.

'Joe served us really well,' said Mayor Rob Drake. 'I think he will make an excellent city administrator. He's ready for this job.'

Linda Adlard, the mayor's chief of staff, agreed.

'While I hate to lose him, Joe is at a point in his career that he is ready to take on further challenges,' Adlard said. 'I believe strongly in supporting the next generation of leadership.

'I consider Joe to be one of those emerging leaders that I believe the state of Oregon would greatly benefit from by retaining his talents and enthusiasm within our state.'

New challenges

Gall set his sights on one day becoming a city manager several years ago while working as a city planner in Cincinnati, Ohio, then as a town planning adviser with the U.S. Peace Corps in Lamu Island, Kenya, and next with the town of Marlborough, Conn.

He holds a bachelor's degree in urban planning from the University of Cincinnati and a master's in business administration from Boston University.

Following graduate school, Gall relocated from New England to the Pacific Northwest.

'I was always intrigued by the Northwest - now it's home,' Gall said. 'There's an energy here on the West Coast, and it's growing more than New England.'

He served for four years with Clark County's Department of Community Development in Southwest Washington before accepting his position in Beaverton.

'I view my experience with both Clark County and Beaverton as stepping stones to this opportunity in Fairview,' Gall said. 'I like working in local government. It's really where you can make a difference and provide services that are very close and important to citizens.

'I enjoy being part of an organization that provides excellent services and constantly looks for ways to improve.'

Gall, his wife Melissa and 2-year-old son Ryan plan to relocate from their home in the Old Orenco neighborhood to Fairview in the next six to eight months.

In the meantime, Gall plans to carpool to work with Beaverton's former economic development manager Janet Young.

Young, who is Gall's neighbor, now serves as Gresham's economic development manager.

Gall said he's excited about the opportunities and challenges his new position will offer.

'I'm looking forward to learning more about the Fairview community and seeing what programs from Beaverton might fit there as well,' Gall said. 'There's a great opportunity coming in 2008 when Fairview will celebrate its centennial, and I'm pretty excited to find out what people there are interested in doing to celebrate.

'It's a momentous occasion.'

He's also looking forward to working with Fairview's team to tackle issues on the horizon including redevelopment challenges.

A good fit

Fairview's mayor and interim city administrator look forward to Gall's addition to the team.

'He has the energy to carry us through,' said Roger Vonderharr, former mayor of Fairview and acting interim administrator. 'We have some commercial and industrial areas that we are looking to get good development in and we think Joe's the guy to help us.

'Being a small city, we can grow together.'

Fairview Mayor Mike Weatherby agreed and said of the 54 candidates interviewed for the position Gall emerged as the clear choice.

'He's very dynamic and shows real potential for our city,' Weatherby said. 'Joe's a good fit for our community.'