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Gresham city manager receives prestigious Kehrli Award


Gresham City Manager Erik Kvarsten was honored with the League of Oregon Cities’ respected Herman Kehrli Award for 2013 at the league’s annual conference held Sept. 28 in Portland.

The award is given to a city employee who has made exceptional contributions to city government in Oregon, producing lasting benefits for their local community.

Kvarsten has served local governments in Oregon for three decades. During his nine-year tenure in Gresham, he has guided the city through lean times and challenging budgets, increased citizen participation and maintained a strong focus on efficiency and customer satisfaction.

This includes providing leadership support for cutting-edge initiatives such as a renewable energy project at the city’s waste water treatment plant, which saves ratepayers around $280,000 a year.

“The Herman Kehrli Award is the ‘Hall of Fame’ for city leaders,” Mayor Shane Bemis said. “Erik’s distinguished career and consummate professionalism made him a perfect nominee for this high honor. Gresham has benefited tremendously from his creativity, his ability to budget through tumultuous times, and the trust he has helped build in the community.”

The award recognizes individuals providing the kind of outstanding public service that epitomize the career of Herman Kehrli, executive secretary of the League of Oregon Cities and director of the University of Oregon’s Bureau of Governmental Research and Service from 1933 to 1966.

Kehrli, who died in 1990, received the first award in 1988. Under his leadership, the League and the Bureau jointly advanced an agenda of research, consultation and training in city government affairs, establishing standards of excellence for local government officials.