The search for Cannon Beach’s new city manager is now down to three finalists.
The three candidates were announced at a special meeting Tuesday and chosen by city councilors in executive session last week from a pool of six semi-finalists. Some come from as close as Nehalem and as far as Arizona and Florida.
The process to find a new city manager started four months ago after former City Manager Brant Kucera left the position for a job in Sisters. Thirty-three people applied for the position, 14 of whom were from Oregon.
“The level of management experience the applicants had was impressive,” Mayor Sam Steidel said.
One of Cannon Beach’s candidates, Bruce St. Denis of Longboat Key, Florida, was also in the running with Kucera to be the city manager of Sisters. St. Denis is a manager at the Development Planning & Financing Group, a private development company in Tampa, Florida. Before this he served as the town manager for Longboat Key, Florida, for 15 years, and holds a Masters of Management degree from the University of South Florida.
The other out-of-state finalist, Peter M. Jankowski, served as town manager of Cave Creek, Arizona for three years. Jankowski holds a Juris Doctorate from the Franklin Pierce Law Center and has worked more than 20 years in municipal government as a town manager in various towns in Massachussets and Maine, as well as served as a state representative for New Hampshire. According to a city press release, Jankowski left the city because the Cave Creek city council decided not to renew his contract for another year.
Kevin Greenwood, the one local candidate, lives in Waldport and has 13 years of upper-level local government experience on the Oregon Coast. He holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from Portland State University and has worked as the city manager of Garibaldi and general manager of the Port of Garibaldi for five years each.
Greenwood served as the general manager of the Port of Newport for the past three years until this summer.
Greenwood resigned his position at the Port of Newport this July because, according to a press release from the port, recently elected port commissioners “signified a change in direction for the Port, and as such the commission felt a change in Port Leadership was also necessary.”
Steidel kept his opinion on each candidate to himself Tuesday, but said he feels confident in the abilities of each candidate if they were to be chosen.
Now that finalists have been chosen, city staff and Jensen Strategies will work on forming community and local government administrator panels to evaluate finalists. City staff will choose representatives from the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce, the hospitality industry, arts community, environmental groups and other locals to offer input, interim city manager Jason Schermerhorn said.
The other panel will be made up of three other city managers and one special district manager, though who exactly this will be has yet to be determined.
Those interested in meeting the finalists are invited to a community forum Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Surfsand Resort. Citizens are encouraged to submit their questions ahead of time to City Recorder Colleen Riggs either in person or by email by the end of the day Oct. 31. The city council plans to choose a preferred candidate by Nov. 8.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the different types of questions the community will ask,” Steidel said.