ASHLAND — Six finalists who live in the Rogue Valley and far afield are vying to become the next Ashland city administrator. Residents can meet them during a reception from 5:30 to 7 tonight in the Plaza Inn & Suites in the Ashland Creek Hospitality Room, 98 Central Ave. The city will take comments from residents about the finalists during the event.

ASHLAND — Six finalists who live in the Rogue Valley and far afield are vying to become the next Ashland city administrator. Residents can meet them during a reception from 5:30 to 7 tonight in the Plaza Inn & Suites in the Ashland Creek Hospitality Room, 98 Central Ave. The city will take comments from residents about the finalists during the event.

The six finalists have had varied work experiences and come from Oregon, California and Utah.

Kelly Madding has worked as the development services director for Jackson County since 2006. Her experience includes serving as the city administrator in Talent, and as administrator and recorder for Rogue River. Phillip Messina has been city manager for Central Point since 2002. He has held administrator posts in three cities in Washington state. Dave Kanner was the administrator for Deschutes County from 2006 until August 2011. He has held other posts in county and municipal government, as well as Portland Metro. John Clark has been the human resources director and treasurer for Garden Grove in California since 2006. He has held positions in county and city government and also worked as the director of operations and administration for the Coyote Point Museum in San Mateo, Calif. Tom Odom has been the public works director for Rancho Palos Verdes in California since 2011, and previously worked as that city's parks and recreation director and public works deputy director. He has served as manager for three cities in California. Ronald Chandler has worked as the manager for Cedar City, Utah, since 2006. He has held a host of other positions in municipal government and also worked as a regional manager for Falcon Cable TV in Maryland during the 1990s.

The finalists this week will meet with city officials and staff members, tour Ashland and undergo panel interviews with designated Ashland City Council members, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Executive Director Paul Nicholson, Citizen Budget Committee member Dee Anne Everson and Planning Commission member Pam Marsh.

The winning candidate will replace Martha Bennett, who accepted a job as chief operating officer for Portland Metro in late 2011.

The advertised pay for the city administrator ranges from $130,000 to $139,000, with benefits that include health insurance and a retirement plan.