DALLAS — The Dallas City Council decided it would like to seek an interim city manager and extend its search for a permanent replacement for retiring City Manager Greg Ellis into the summer or early fall, rather than fill the seat by the end of June.

Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments Executive Director Sean O’Day presented the council with a search time line on Feb. 19 that would have a new manager in place by Ellis’ retirement date of June 30.

The Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments will conduct the city manager search for the city.

Several councilors said they were concerned that wouldn’t give the city enough time to do a thorough search.

“This is a very compressed time line. We are really going to be pushing it to hit all these deadlines,” said Councilor Kelly Gabliks. “I’m just wondering if we shouldn’t plan to extend it out a little bit.”

Councilor Jackie Lawson agreed, saying when the city hired Ellis, the council knew that he was committed to serving two years at the most. She said the goal of this search is to find someone to work for the city longer.

“We knew when we brought Greg on, it wasn’t going to be a forever career. But this time we are looking for someone who, basically, they are going to be here a while,” Lawson said. “I don’t want just anyone.”

O’Day said he could help find an interim city manager to fill in starting in July and possibility through September.

“There are a few retired city managers in the region who have indicated an interest and a willingness to serve as an interim,” he said. 

O’Day addressed other components of the search that didn’t involve the time line, such as advertising the position, its qualifications and salary range.

He recommended the city advertise the position with the League of Oregon Cities, Association of Washington Cities, International City Managers Association weekly newsletter and the National League of Cities. The opening also will be on the city’s website and on mwvcog’s website.

O’Day recommended a full background check, including a credit check.

“Because this position has fiduciary responsibilities, Oregon law would allow you … to do a financial background check,” he said.

Another part of the background check of potential candidates will be interviews with a supervisor, peer and subordinate. Mwvcog will do a past-employment and degree verification.

The minimum qualifications for candidates are: A bachelor’s degree in public or business administration or a related field; and five years of city management experience as a city manager, administrator, assistant city manager, department head; or equivalent education or experience.

O’Day said those qualifications are broad, but he sees that as an advantage.

“I think keeping a lower hurdle here is good, because you never who might be looking at this,” he said.

O’Day said the salary range that the city had used in its previous search, $130,000 to $150,000 annually, is still adequate. 

“This is well within the range of a city your size, and you will be very competitive,” O’Day said. “I think you are in good shape there if the council is in agreement with that.”

O’Day said he would return for a work session on Monday to present a revised time line for the search.

“We’ll extend the schedule out and I could show you what that would look like for an end-of-the-summer, early-fall start date,” he said. “You would be much closer to the six-month mark, which is plenty of time. That would work out very well.”

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