Portland plans to start advertising for city manager job next week

More than a year after Portland’s city manager left the job, the city is finally ready to start advertising for the position.

The City Council’s city manager search subcommittee on Thursday voted 3-0 to approve a job description and brochure, and the city plans to post the job late next week. Councilors and the search consultant, Baker Tilly, agreed to review a few final edits before the posting goes live.

“There are some things that are going to be changed … some language that talks about how diverse Portland is and the nature of that diversity because that is important,” said Mayor Kate Snyder during Thursday’s meeting.

“A lot of our time is spent talking about asylum seekers coming to Maine and in particular Portland, so a mention of that is important. A mention of our commitment to justice and equity is very important.”

The city manager is the top non-elected job in Portland government, charged with running day-to-day operations, managing a staff of 1,400 employees and preparing and administering the annual budget.

The post has been filled on an interim basis by Danielle West, who previously served as the city’s corporation counsel, since the November 2021 departure of former city manager Jon Jennings.

West earns a salary of $186,511 and councilors agreed Thursday that the job posting will list a salary range of $190,000 to $225,000. West said Thursday she plans to evaluate whether she will apply for the permanent job once it has been posted.

Hiring a city manager was put on hold for months because of the work of the city’s Charter Commission, which last year proposed significant changes to the city manager and mayor’s roles. Voters in November rejected the proposed changes.

The search comes as the city is trying to fill a number of top jobs, including police chief, which the city is hoping to post by the end of the month.

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