Monmouth city manager search is on

MONMOUTH -- City leaders want to fill Monmouth's city manager vacancy no later than Jan. 1. Because the search and hiring process is expected to last almost six months, officials plan to bring in a



MONMOUTH -- City leaders want to fill Monmouth's city manager vacancy no later than Jan. 1.

Because the search and hiring process is expected to last almost six months, officials plan to bring in an interim city manager within a few weeks.

Jim Hough resigned from the position on June 7 at the request of the city council, which said his departure centered on his working relationship with other municipal employees. They haven't offered any specific details.

Finance Director Jeff White is currently handling the city manager duties until Monmouth finds an interim manager, said Mayor Larry Dalton. The city will contact the League of Oregon Cities (LOC), a clearinghouse for municipal personnel and resources, to contract a temporary replacement. Councilor Steve Milligan has requested that he be included in the pool of interim candidates.

"Once we have the names, it shouldn't take longer than a day or two to hire somebody," Dalton said.

City hall is currently undergoing a staffing hardship; several administrative positions are vacant.

A part-time city planner, city recorder and community development assistant have all resigned since December 2005.

"Are there things not getting done in the best possible time frame? Probably not." Dalton said. "But things are getting done."

"I don't see this as a crisis. "Everybody else, all of the department heads, are pitching in."

White said he could handle the workload in the short-term. But "it's a full-time job," he said. "It's something I certainly couldn't do forever."

Monmouth contracted a part-time planner earlier this year through the LOC, and included $59,000 in its 2006-07 budget to fill the position full time.

After Hough's resignation, the town instituted a hiring freeze for the open positions until a new city manager could be found.

Waiting, however, could jeopardize a work-study program the city has entered into with Western Oregon University, which sends one of its business majors to assist with administrative duties in Monmouth and Independence.

White said the college has stated it wouldn't renew the relationship without a full-time planning director, who oversees the student.



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