Cannon Beach chooses new city manager

City manager candidate Bruce St. Denis speaks with residents at a community forum at the Surfsand Hotel in Cannon Beach.

CANNON BEACH — After a four-month hiring process, Cannon Beach has selected Bruce St. Denis as the new city manager.

St. Denis, a manager at a private development company, is a former town manager for the coastal city of Longboat Key, Florida, and holds a master’s degree in management from the University of South Florida.

He was chosen over two other finalists — Peter M. Jankowski, former city manager of Cave Creek, Ariz., and Kevin Greenwood, former general manager of the Port of Newport. Thirty-three people applied for the position.

“We are confident that he will do an excellent job,” Mayor Sam Steidel said in a special meeting Wednesday. “We had highly qualified candidates.”

St. Denis is a manager at the Development Planning & Financing Group, a private development company in Tampa.

During a community forum Monday, St. Denis highlighted his experience with emergency management after Hurricane Charley hit his region.

In an executive session Wednesday morning, city councilors considered feedback from staff and department heads, as well as comments from two panels comprised of community leaders and regional government officials.

City councilors also considered comments and evaluations made by dozens of people who came to the public forum Monday night, who asked the finalists questions about community engagement, tourism and emergency preparedness.

“We took many factors into account. We had two very qualified candidates, and it was a very difficult decision,” City Councilor George Vetter said.

“And so the community knows, if something is to happen, our second choice is equally as impressive,” Steidel added.

The city is in contract negotiations with St. Denis. When an agreement is reached, the contract will be voted on in a public meeting.

St. Denis would replace Brant Kucera, who stepped down earlier this year to take the city manager position in Sisters.

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