It looks like Salem, Oregon has a new City Manager, Steve Powers. He's currently the City Administrator of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
So reports MLive (whatever that is) in "Ann Arbor city administrator accepts new job in Oregon."
City Administrator Steve Powers is planning to leave the city of Ann Arbor to pursue a new career opportunity in Oregon.
Powers, who has been Ann Arbor's top administrator since 2011, informed the City Council of his decision via email late Sunday afternoon.
He has been offered the city manager position in Salem, Oregon, and he has accepted pending the Salem City Council approving his contract on Sept. 14, he told council members.
...Salem, which had a population of 154,637 as of the 2010 census, is the capital of Oregon. It's located about an hour south of Portland.
Powers said the mayor and two council members from Salem will be visiting Ann Arbor this week to do a site visit and report back to their council colleagues.
"I don't anticipate any changes in my tentative agreement with Salem prior to the 14th," Powers wrote in his email, adding he will be submitting a resignation letter on Sept. 15. "The letter will serve as my 60-day notice required in my agreement with you."
Since Salem has a strong City Manager/ weak Mayor and City Council form of government, Powers is taking on an important position. I'm hoping, and pretty confident, that he'll be better than our previous City Manager, Linda Norris, who left a lot to be desired.
I say "pretty confident" because a bit of Googling didn't turn up any obvious dirt on Powers.
It doesn't look like any citizen activist bloggers akin to me in Ann Arbor have been ranting about his poor performance as City Manager, like I've done with Linda Norris.
The Ann Arbor News reported in 2011 that Steve Powers had been chosen as City Administrator. I found this part of the story encouraging:
Council Member Carsten Hohnke, D-5th Ward, said a few things about Powers stood out, including his success in collaborating with others.
"As we look forward, the challenges that Ann Arbor and many of the communities in the state have are to find ways to further collaborate with our regional neighbors — other municipalities, other elected officials — to find ways to share the delivery of services," Hohnke said. "He has a tremendous track record of working with elected peers in doing just that."
Hohnke also said Powers seems to enjoy receiving input from all the sources he can, and those who have known him cite his ability to be fair and consistent.
In December, 2014 Powers withdrew his name from consideration for an Ohio job. So he's been looking to leave Ann Arbor for a while. I scanned the comments on that story, and also the few comments that have been left on the recent story about him leaving for the Salem City Manager job.
They were all positive or neutral. Nothing along the lines of "Thank god, we're rid of him." So this also is good news.
Welcome to Salem, Steve Powers. Your name sounds like a superhero.
You'll need some extraordinary talents to bring together a town divided by how Salem's imperious previous City Manager, who I liked to call Empress Linda Norris, typically acted in a non-collaborative top-down manner, aided and abetted by a conservative Mayor and City Council majority who often were at odds with a liberal citizenry.
We need some fresh ideas and city management style in this town. Hopefully Powers will bring them with him.