After the Astoria City Council emerged from executive session late Monday afternoon, it became clear that Mayor Willis Van Dusen would approach City Manager Pro Tem Brett Estes about taking the job on a permanent basis.
“The council has decided that the mayor should contact Brett Estes for the job,” Councilor Drew Herzig said.
Van Dusen confirmed he will negotiate with Estes to find agreeable terms.
Estes was part of the initial group of 54 applicants for the city manager position. He withdrew, citing personal reasons, From the remainder of the candidates, the City Council chose four finalists, but rejected them after their collective public appearance in Astoria.
Van Dusen said he will make Estes an offer “he can’t refuse, but an offer no more than budgeted,” Van Dusen said. The advertised budget allows for a salary of $115,000.
In the event Estes declines, Van Dusen said the council will return to executive session. “From there we may go to the League of Oregon Cities for a list of viable candidates,” he said.
No official decisions can be made until the council meets in public session next Monday.