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Phoenix picks Shady Cove manager

Shady Cove City Administrator Doug Prunty is poised to become Phoenix’s next city manager.

Prunty was identified by Phoenix Mayor Chris Luz as the City Council’s selected candidate, who must now undergo a thorough background check.

Interim City Manager Dave Kanner told the Mail Tribune that contract negotiations are underway after the council made its choice Saturday during an executive session.

Kanner, the former city adminstrator in Ashland, was directed to pursue actions discussed in the executive session in open session afterward. The City Council would need to approve the hiring after the background check and negotiation of a contract.

Prunty has been in his position at Shady Cove since 2013. He would bring a strong knowledge of Oregon land-use law and local government budget law to the Phoenix position, according to a May 1 press release by the city about the finalists for the job. He lives in Eagle Point and has served on that city’s Planning Commission, Budget Committee and City Council.

Prunty was one of three finalists interviewed by the council on Saturday. The other finalists were Sam Hughes, most recently city administrator of North Bonneville, Wash., and Alison Chan, finance director for the city of Medford.

A public session with the candidates was held Thursday evening. They were interviewed by city staff and other local city managers Friday.

Kanner has been interim manager since February when Eric Swanson, former Medford city manager, resigned after just four months in the position. Kanner was also interim manager from March to September 2017 after the council fired Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who’s now a Democratic candidate for the 2nd Congressional District.

Reach Ashland freelance writer Tony Boom at tboomwriter@gmail.com.