Rockaway Beach Mayor Charles McNeilly announced last week that the city has hired a new city planner and recorder, both of whom will start on June 1.
Mary Johnson will become the city planner, departing the city manager’s position in Wheeler, while Melissa Thompson-Kiefer will leave the same position in Nehalem to become the city’s recorder.
“City of Rockaway Beach, as a desirable place to work, continues to attract high caliber, qualified candidates for open positions this year,” Mayor Charles McNeilly wrote in a statement to the Herald. McNeilly had earlier announced the hirings on the board of county commissioners’ weekly countywide update call on May 16.
McNeilly noted that the average age in Rockaway Beach had decreased by a decade in between the 2010 and 2020 censuses, and that more families had also taken up residence in the community. These demographic changes have led to an increase in services and support sought from city staff.
Johnson’s hiring will let the city move planning tasks in house to allow for a better response to the tactical and strategic planning needs of the community, according to McNeilly.
“Mary (Johnson) is well suited to lead our planning efforts with over 10 years of management and legal experience as well as first class communication, outreach and public relation skills,” McNeilly wrote. Johnson’s departure from Wheeler leaves the city with one staff member.
Thompson-Kiefer will fill the city recorder position that was recently reestablished. McNeilly said that this move was made to allow City Manager Luke Shepard more time for strategic planning and to enhance the city’s customer service.
Nehalem has already begun the recruitment process to replace Thompson-Kiefer as city manager, with the position listed on the League of Oregon Cities’ website, with a salary range between $75,000 and $95,000.
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