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Scappoose hires new city manager

Larry Lehman estimates he will hold position for about eight months


LehmanThe Scappoose City Council on Monday, April 19, approved a contract with Prothman and Associates to hire Larry Lehman as Scappoose’s new city manager.

While the council stripped the word “interim” from the title, Lehman will not be filling the position permanently.

“I’m very pleased and honored to have the position,” Lehman said. “I’ve been told the city has an excellent staff and the council seems very engaged, so I’m really looking forward to working with them.”

Lehman said he plans to be with the city for about eight months and will begin the search for a permanent city manager after elections are held this coming November.

Lehman said he has no specific goals in serving the city other than to “operate as efficiently as possible and carry out the goals of the council.”

As deliberations continue with the termination of Douglas Greisen from the position of Scappoose police chief, Lehman will likely be tasked with making a final decision on the matter.

A committee of councilors is currently tasked with determining whether interim City Manager Don Otterman’s firing of Greisen complied with law and city policy. Based on its findings, that committee is expected to soon make a recommendation to the city manager.

Lehman said he had become familiar with issues regarding Greisen within the past week.

“I had a lengthy discussion with [Otterman]. He brought me up to date on the dismissal,” Lehman said.

Scappoose will pay Lehman $70 an hour — a figure that works out to an estimated annual $76,878 at his expected weekly work schedule of 32 hours for eight months — as well as $500 per month to offset temporary housing and commuting fees.

Lehman currently lives in Pendleton and will likely work four to five days per week.

Otterman said Monday his last day with the city would be Wednesday, May 21, but added he is a phone call away and expressed confidence in Lehman’s ability to fill the position, noting his replacement has held city manager roles for 30 years.

“Wednesday is my last day,” Otterman said, “It’s been a quick five months. Sometimes a little rocky, but it’s been a quick five months. And I look forward to maybe not doing a whole lot.”

Councilors agreed that it had been “rocky at times” and thanked Otterman for his time with the city.

Lehman last served as a city manager in Pendleton, which he held from 1993 up until his retirement in 2011. Since then, he said he has spent a lot of time traveling, noting he has visited Russia, Eastern Europe, Mexico and various locations across the United States.