Camas Mayor Scott Higgins Friday said City Administrator Nina Regor will not be able to return to work from her indefinite medical leave.
The city announced Tuesday Regor was on leave and quickly scheduled a Friday meeting to hire Vancouver-based financial consultant Paul Lewis to assist with drafting the city's budget and other tasks. Higgins named Human Resources Director Jennifer Gorsuch interim city administrator.
At Friday's meeting, Higgins announced Regor would likely not recover from her illness.
"We are brokenhearted by this news, and yet I report to you she is at peace," Higgins told council members. "Things will go on, but this week we are sad … deeply, deeply sad."
The city is not disclosing the exact nature of Regor's health problem. But for the past two weeks, Higgins said, her condition has deteriorated rapidly and she's now in the hospital.
Higgins, pastor at Hockinson Church of Christ, has also been acting as Regor's spiritual adviser.
News of Regor's serious illness has come as a shock. Camas hired her at the beginning of the year to succeed Lloyd Halverson, who retired from the city after 23 years.
She came to Camas from Cloverdale, Calif., a city of 8,500, where she was city manager. She grew up in Clark County.
City Council approved Lewis' contract at Friday's special meeting. He'll be paid an hourly rate of $115 an hour, with a cap of $27,000, through the end of the year for his consulting services.
Higgins said he expects Lewis will be paid less than the maximum amount because the city will try to do as much of the administrative work it can in-house.
The city will wait until later before evaluating when it's time to search for a new city administrator, Higgins said.
For now, he said, the city is praying for Regor.