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Process begins with creation of position profile

The Lake Oswego City Council kicked off its search for a permanent city manager this week.

Greg Prothman of the Prothman Company, an executive search firm selected to conduct a nationwide recruitment effort, told the council that the entire process, from the council’s Tuesday meeting to eventual interviews with finalists for the job, will take 90 days.

He planned to begin meeting with some community members on Wednesday to discuss the skills, characteristics and abilities they’d like in a new chief executive.

“Out of all of that should begin to emerge a sense of what you’re looking for,” he said.

Prothman will use the information he gathers to draft a position profile describing the city and the services it provides, the city manager’s duties and ideal characteristics, compensation and how to apply. Council members and citizens will be able to weigh in on the draft profile at a public hearing in a couple of weeks.

After that hearing, the council will likely direct Prothman “how far and wide” to cast his net as he looks for candidates. He plans to request a cover letter, a resume and nine references from each applicant along with writing samples in the form of responses to essay questions.

Councilor Donna Jordan suggested that the candidates also be asked to submit copies of published articles they have written.

Prothman expects to receive 50 to 60 applications and will whittle those down to about 15 top contenders, whom he will spend an hour talking to either in person or over Skype. The council will then help with another round of cuts to bring the field to four to six finalists, who will be invited to the city for formal interviews.

Former City Manager Alex McIntyre left the job last year to become city manager of Menlo Park, Calif. Assistant City Manager David Donaldson filled the position on a short-term basis until early this year, when Mayor Kent Studebaker took office and opted to hire Tom Coffee, who remains interim city manager today. Donaldson at that point returned to his post as assistant city manager.

The public hearing on the draft position profile for a permanent replacement for McIntyre is tentatively scheduled for a 7 p.m. April 2 meeting at city hall.

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