Newberg government — Subcommittee discusses recruitment firms and is expected to recommend choosing the Council of Governments for search

The process of finding a new city manager in Newberg began Oct. 23 when the City Council formed and held the first meeting of the City Manager Recruitment Subcommittee.

At the meeting the committee discussed which recruitment firm to recommend to the council. Three firms expressed interest in the project: Colin Baenziger & Associates, the League of Oregon Cities and the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments (COG).

City Councilor Mike Corey said in an email he prefers using COG because they have a good history, and they need to consider finances a top priority.

While Baenziger didn’t provide a fee estimate, the League proposed $8,500 and COG quoted $7,000 to complete the project.

Norma Alley, city recorder, said the committee will recommend COG at the next meeting, scheduled for 7 a.m. Nov. 6.

If agreed, a contract will be presented during a Dec. 2 meeting for approval.

A timeline for the search has not yet been established. Alley said the recruiting firm will decide that once they are approved.

If approved, COG would develop the timeline, place ads for the position, work with the City Council to draft a position profile, screen applications, perform background checks and communicate with potential candidates, facilitate the interview process and send out regret letters to unsuccessful candidates.

Ultimately, the committee will select the new city manager.

Corey said he would like to give preference to local candidates — Oregon, Washington or Idaho — but would open the search nationwide if the applicants don’t qualify.

The city manager position includes performing high-level administrative, technical and professional work in directing and supervising the administration of city government, according to the position description. The city manager also must demonstrate knowledge of all laws, ordinances, resolutions and orders to ensure that they are performed in good faith. The city manager may also serve as department head of one or more departments.

City Manager Pro Tem Lee Elliott is serving on the recruitment committee. Elliott said in that capacity he is not excluded from applying or being considered for the position.

“However, before being appointed as the pro tem, I shared with the mayor and councilors I am not planning on applying due to where I am in my career path,” he said. “Having been involved on both ends of the city manager search process, I believe my experience will help assist the council in the recruitment process.”

For more information about the position requirements and the firm’s proposals, visit

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