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Eric Swanson finalist for Phoenix city manager

Former Medford City Manager Eric Swanson may be the next city manager of Phoenix.

Phoenix City Council will decide Monday whether to hire Swanson, who most recently served as the city administrator of Gladstone. He was chosen as a finalist from 31 applicants across the United States, according to a city release.

If Swanson is hired, he will begin work Sept. 18. The position pays between $90,000 and $105,000 a year.

“Along with his 30 years’ experience in city management, Eric’s in-depth knowledge of the issues and challenges that are unique to the cities of the Rogue Valley separated him from the rest of the field,” Dave Kanner, Phoenix interim city manager, said in the release. Kanner headed up the recruitment effort for the position.

Swanson developed strategic plans for Gladstone and Medford, led efforts to fund, design and build new civic buildings and has served as executive director of the Gladstone and Medford urban renewal agencies, the release said.

Swanson's tenures in both cities included controversies. After Swanson served three years in Medford, he was fired and dismissed from the council chambers June 4, 2015, after tensions between him and city councilors reached a boiling point.

In Gladstone, Swanson stepped down earlier this year after Mayor Tammy Stempel filed a complaint alleging he told her she could no longer participate in any city activities, speak to staff or request information needed as part of her position. A hairdresser also filed a complaint alleging Swanson bullied her as part of an eviction to make way for construction of a new police station. Swanson has denied both allegations.

Swanson said it was a tumultuous time in that city, which involved the recall of two city councilors. He said he worked for three mayors during his year and a half there.

Swanson holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of South Dakota and is a colonel in the Oregon Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

Phoenix City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at 1000 St. B. St., Phoenix.

Eric Swanson