A new chief

By time you read this Keizer will have a new city manager.

After press time, Wednesday, the Keizer City Council met in a special session to interview the three finalists for the top management position in the city.

Adam Brown, current city manager in Ontario, Ore.; Eileen Stein, current city manager in West Linn; and Tim Wood, current finance director for the city, are all good candidates, each bringing their unique experience to the process.

The average tenure of city managers is approximately five to seven years. Keizer’s previous city manager held the job for 20 years, an anomaly in that field. It is unlikely the person chosen by the council will stay in the job for decades. 

Each person who has held the job in Keizer has made the position their own. Whoever gets the city manager job is getting a pretty nice gig. Keizer is recognized as being a well-run city with a top-notch staff from top to bottom. 

The position of city manager is no cakewalk, though. A city manager must not only have knowledge of all operations of the city, but must also be a leader of people, who instills trust and loyalty from those who work under them. Issues facing a manager range from budgets to employees to waste water to streets and parks. Thankfully, the new manager will have only to poke their head out their office to get the information they need from the staff.

No one can predict what can happen in the coming years. Who could have predicted five years ago that Keizer would face a record heat wave, followed by a crippling ice storm and then a pandemic. It is that unpredictability that will challenge whoever is city manager. That is where experience and knowledge come into play. 

We wish only the best for who was chosen for the job Wednesday night.