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Aug. 22, meet Milwaukie's four finalists for its next city manager

In its efforts to find a new city manager to replace Bill Monahan, who will retire in October, members of Milwaukie City Council have narrowed the field of candidates down to four — Alice Cannon, Nancy Newton, Ann Ober and Julie Underwood.

CITY OF MILWAUKIE - Alice Cannon, Nancy Newton, Ann Ober and Julie Underwood are the four finalists for Milwaukie's next city manager.The community will have a chance to meet the candidates in-person at a special Meet & Greet event from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 22, at the Milwaukie Public Safety Building, 3200 S.E. Harrison St., where attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss topics of interest to get to know the candidates better. Light refreshments will be served.

All four of the finalists for city manager have experience working for city or county governmental agencies:

Alice Cannon

Alice Cannon has been the assistant city manager for the city of Tualatin since 2011. Previously, she worked for the city of Gresham as an executive manager in the City Manager’s Office.

Cannon started her career as a planner serving the communities of Roseburg, Oregon, and Boulder, Colorado. Making her return to Oregon in 1999, she served the city of Milwaukie for six years before becoming a transportation and land-use-planning consultant for David Evans and Associates.

Cannon received her master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado at Denver and her bachelor’s degree in planning, public policy and management from the University of Oregon.

Nancy Newton

Nancy Newton is responsible for a wide range of services in her current position as deputy county administrator for Clackamas County. She has been with Clackamas County since 2000, beginning as the deputy director for the Commission on Children and Families. She was promoted to county-administrator assistant in 2004 and then appointed to her current position in 2010.

Newton received her executive masters of public administration degree from Portland State University and her bachelor’s degree in management and organizational leadership from George Fox University.

Ann Ober

Ann Ober is the regional policy and energy director for Park City, Utah. In addition to her duties in Park City, she is actively involved in the incorporation of the new city of Millcreek, serving as the chair of its governance committee.

Prior to Park City, Ober was the director of the Public Services Administrative Division for Salt Lake City and served Salt Lake County in a wide variety of roles. She has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Pacific Lutheran University.

Julie Underwood

Julie Underwood is currently the assistant city manager in Daly City, California. Prior to relocating to California, she served the city of Shoreline, Washington, for 11 years, first as assistant city manager and then city manager.

Underwood’s public-service career started in the city of Rockville, Maryland, where she served as a management analyst before assuming the role of assistant to the city manager.

Underwood has a master’s degree in public administration and policy from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from George Mason University.

Process involves citizens

The city began recruiting for a new city manager in May 2016 in order to prepare for the departure of Monahan, who decided to retire on Oct. 17 at the end of his current contract. The city partnered with Waldron, an executive leadership recruitment firm that specializes in the public sector, to conduct a nationwide search.

To learn which qualifications and experience were most important in determining Milwaukie’s next city manager, comprehensive surveys were conducted with a variety of community members, including neighborhood leaders, the Milwaukie Downtown Business Association, City Council members, volunteers and city staff.

“A lot of time and effort has gone into the search for a new city manager, and we feel lucky to have four excellent candidates that each brings unique strengths to the table,” said Mayor Mark Gamba. “I look forward to the interview process and ascertaining who will be the best fit for Milwaukie and will help move us toward our vision”

Following the Meet & Greet event, final interviews will be conducted with each candidate on Tuesday, Aug. 23. The interviews will be comprised of three panels — City Council members, chairs of the city’s boards, committees and commissions, and senior city staff.

A final decision is anticipated by the end of August or, potentially, first week of September.