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Portland mayor's chief of staff to leave

Austin Raglione will replace Nancy Hamilton

Portland Mayor Tom Potter has announced that Nancy Hamilton, his chief of staff, will be leaving his administration at the end of January.

Hamilton, 46, led Potter's campaign staff before he was elected.

The mayor has appointed Austin Raglione, 51, to immediately replace Hamilton.

Raglione has been directing the mayor's Bureau Innovation Project, an effort to make city government more diverse, efficient and customer friendly, as well as the day to day operation of the mayor's office. The mayor said she had been instrumental in brokering compromises that allowed the tram to be finished and reforms to the Fire and Police Disability Review Board to be placed on the November ballot, where they passed.

"Austin's ability to build diverse coalitions around ideas is crucial to the work ahead for my office," Potter said.

The mayor said that Hamilton was instrumental in launching the city's visioning project and charter review commission, reinvigorating the government relations office, helping create a more collaboative and transparent budget process and working with a broad coalition of business, civic and political leaders to provide support for city and regional school districts.

According to the mayor's staff, Hamilton had been discussing her plans to move on for the last month.

"I was lucky that Nancy was available when I needed her during the campaign and lucky that Nancy agreed to be the chief of staff afterward," Potter said. "Her energy, intelligence and enthusiasm have been vital to launching the reforms that I came into office believing needed to be made.

"I also know that Nancy has many other passions that engage her, and she is ready for new challenges," Potter said.

Two weeks ago, speculation began circulating in city hall circles about an imminent mayoral staff shakeup, reportedly because Potter was not happy about the outcome of a city council process to divvy up $24 million in one-time surplus monies.

Nick Budnick of the Portland Tribune contributed to this story.