CAMAS — The Camas City Council has named former Battle Ground city manager Jeff Swanson to serve as the city’s interim city administrator for the next nine to 12 months.
Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Burton said her decision to recommend hiring an interim city administrator came after extensive conversations with former Camas mayors as well as city staff and department heads.
When Jamal Fox also announced his unexpected departure from the city in late May, Burton said she began working with city staff to determine what to do next.
“We looked at five or six options, including doing nothing and waiting until a new mayor and council(members) come in, which would mean hiring a new city administrator next summer, most likely, with the (city department heads) taking on the workload,” Burton said during the city council’s regular meeting on July 6.
The mayor pro tem, along with city staff, also explored the idea of hiring a replacement for Fox right away but opted for hiring an interim city administrator to help guide the city through its transition period, with elections that will determine a new mayor as well as three city council positions.
Swanson, a former Battle Ground city manager, currently works as a contract community development director for the city of La Center in north Clark County.
“(Swanson) comes extremely highly recommended and has a broad background at the state, regional and local levels,” Burton said. “He will provide the skill set the city needs … to ensure taxpayer dollars are invested wisely.”
Swanson, who works with other clients, said he can give the city of Camas 25 hours a week of his time. Though the city did not place a cap on the number of hours the interim city manager can work any given week, the contract does state that the city’s mayor — including Burton, then an interim mayor appointed by the city council and finally an elected mayor chosen during the November general election — would oversee Swanson’s schedule and approved hours.
The city will pay Swanson $200 per hour for his role as Camas’ interim city administrator, but will not pay any benefits or retirement.
Swanson’s contract began July 7 and runs as long as needed up to December 2022.
Interim mayoral candidates named
The city of Camas announced Friday that Mayor Pro Tem, Ellen Burton and Camas resident Jack Derington have applied for position of interim mayor. The council will meet in a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 26, at City Hall to interview the candidates.
Camas initiated the interim mayoral process after former Mayor Barry McDonnell resigned earlier in the year. The person appointed to the position will fill the role until the November mayoral election.