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Council approves city manager criteria


To live or not to live in Lake Oswego was a key discussion point

The Lake Oswego City Council is looking for a new city manager who is financially savvy, who can offer a high level of customer service to a citizenry with high expectations and who is willing and able to live within the city.

That’s according to criteria and standards and a position profile agreed to after a public hearing April 2. The council approved hiring standards and gave staff the green light to polish the related position profile, a five-page document used to attract and inform potential job candidates. It provides background about the city, its residents and council city-manager form of government and outlines qualities sought in a new chief administrative officer.

A main point of discussion last week was whether the city manager should be required to live in Lake Oswego or whether that could simply be a preference during the hiring process.

Another sticking point revolved around wordsmithing the profile to highlight a desire for someone who can help aging residents remain in the community while attracting young families with children to bolster public schools.

“Is there a way to add to that some kind of reference to the median age of our community?” Councilor Donna Jordan asked. “I think it’s important we be upfront with our candidate that this city is not really typical of suburbs.”

One person testified to the council about the overall effort.

Jan Castle said she hopes the council finds candidates who understand “what it takes for a city to maintain a triple A bond rating” and who value sustainability.

The new city manager will be paid $145,000 to $170,000 annually in addition to benefits such as health insurance, pension and optional deferred compensation plus 12 paid holidays, paid vacation time and paid sick leave. The city has requested applications for the job by mid-May.

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.