CANNON BEACH — A question the Cannon Beach City Council will try to answer in the next few weeks is this: What qualities does the city have that would attract a new city manager?

Current City Manager Rich Mays recently was one of five finalists for the position of Deschutes County administrator.

Although he did not get the job, he has indicated to the council that he intends to leave Cannon Beach. He has not given a departure date, however.

During a City Council meeting April 1, the council discussed how it would conduct a search for a new city manager. Mays, who was in Bend interviewing for the Deschutes County job, was absent from the meeting.

“We need, as a group, to be sorting out what we want as a city manager,” said Councilor Melissa Cadwallader. “We also need to look at what our responsibility is (for the search) in relation to what his (Mays’) responsibility is.”

Cadwallader said she had already contacted the League of Oregon Cities, which conducts national searches, and she had researched “headhunter” firms. The cost to conduct the search could range from $10,000 to $20,000, she said. It could take up to eight months.

Mayor Mike Morgan suggested that the council find an interim city manager when Mays leaves. The Oregon City/County Management Association could help find an experienced manager to fill in, he said. Morgan also has talked to other retired city managers from Clatsop County who indicated they would be willing to step in, if necessary.

“I really think an interim manager is going to be needed,” Morgan said. “I agree that if Rich is looking, we need to look at some sort of headhunting organization.”

Cadwallader suggested that the council ask Mays when he plans to leave so a search can begin.

In the meantime, the council agreed it was time to determine how previous City Councils conducted city manager searches. They also agreed they needed to determine what qualities they want in a city manager and what qualities the city has that would attract applicants.

“The qualities are ours to name,” Morgan said. “It’s up to us to put our heads together.”

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