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Council meeting June 29 to focus on hiring city manager

Ashland's historic City Hall. file photo

Ashland City Council will meet in special session at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 29, to determine the process for hiring an interim city manager, with City Manager pro tem Adam Hanks set to resign Aug. 6.

“I hope we can collaborate,” Mayor Julie Akins said in a written statement. “I have some ideas on how to do this. We already have some qualified applicants.”

The council will review options for interim hiring provided by the mayor and city staff. Hanks said the meeting packet will be available to the public Thursday.

According to the city charter, the council must fill a vacancy in the city manager position “as soon as practicable after the vacancy occurs.”

The city manager is responsible for administering all city business and appointing, supervising and removing department heads, except the Ashland Parks and Recreation Department and City Attorney’s office, over which the city manager has no administrative or supervisory authority.

The city manager pro tem must obtain council approval to appoint or remove department heads.

Councilor Paula Hyatt voted in favor of pausing city manager recruitment to investigate why two search firms dissolved their contracts with the city, ahead of Hanks’ resignation announcement.

Hyatt said the issue now has two parts: filling the post in the interim and identifying a long-term, permanent hire.

“I feel that the special meeting called by our mayor is appropriate and necessary,” Hyatt said.

Interim city manager replacement is the only item on the agenda for the June 29 special meeting, and the July 6 agenda will include discussion about the permanent position, she said.

Hyatt said a “practicable” timeline means whatever path the council sets forth must be “actionable and achievable” — determined by staff activity and council direction.

“I still feel that having two recruitment firms choose not to continue to work with the city is worthy of review and understanding,” Hyatt said. “The special meeting on the 29th combined with the July 6 discussion on the long-term placement — they’re both necessary, they’re both steps in the process, and they both afford us the opportunity we need to assess and adapt and move forward successfully.”

Contact Ashland Tidings reporter Allayana Darrow at adarrow@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497.