Final three: Mount Angel Council narrows field in search for city administrator

May 2013 Posted in News

By Don Murtha

The Mount Angel City Council expects to offer one of three candidates the job as its next city administrator.

The candidates vying for the title are Eileen Stein, most recently city manager of Sisters, Ore.; Aaron Palmquist, operations manager for the Central Oregon Health Board; and Richard Meyer, recently development and operations director in Cornelius, Ore.

All three candidates have master’s degrees.

The three candidates met with city officials and with members of the public May 10 at the Mount Angel Library Community Room.

On May 11, the Mount Angel City Council conducted individual interviews with each candidate.

Mount Angel interim city administrator Jeannie Messmer said the next step will be to get background check releases from each candidate, then to conduct background checks. The council’s goal, she said, is to offer the job to a candidate by the end of May and have the new city administrator in place by July 1.

Messmer said 25 people applied for the job. From those applicants, a committee of council members narrowed the applicants down to six. They conducted telephone interviews with five – one was offered another job.

Then the council narrowed it down to four with three candidates being able to attend.

“Any of the three candidates would be a good fit for our community,” Messmer said, “because they have all worked in communities of similar size and on similar projects.”

For example, Messmer said, Stein worked in Sisters, known for its community celebrations including the Sisters Quilt Show and the Sisters Rodeo. Sisters is also a “theme town,” she said.

Myers has good planning and public works experience and Palmquist has worked in small communities in the Willamette Valley.

Each of the candidates has qualifications that would make her happy to have them working for Mount Angel, she said.

“I think any of the candidates could do a great job for the city and town of Mount Angel,” Messmer said. “The council now has to narrow it down to the candidate who is the best fit for the community.”

The three candidates are:


Richard Meyer

Richard Meyer

Meyer has been development and operations director for the city of Cornelius. He has been director of long-term planning, engineering capital improvements, building and public works programs with a staff of 22.

His experience includes raising and managing more than $28 million in grant funding for public improvements.

He recruited citizens and businesses revitalize the city and rejuvenate the Cornelius Chamber of Commerce and the local nut and berry festival. Previously, Meyer was executive director of the Association of Oregon Community Development, a consortium of 55 housing and economic development groups.

He was executive director of the Audubon Society of Portland and previously was executive director of the Burnside Community Council. He was employed at Tri-Met as manager of public affairs and marketing administration and planning. He was a senior planner in Washington County and was employed in planning for the city of Portland.


Aaron Palmquist

Aaron Palmquist

Palmquist is the operations manager for the three-county Central Oregon Health Board. He is responsible for management of the Affordable Health Care Act, including staff functions, policies and procedures, data management systems, and contractual service agreements.

Palmquist’s previous positions were as the  community manager at Crooked River Ranch in Terrebonne, Ore.; senior management analyst at the city of Springfield; interim city recorder in Salem; city administrator/ recorder at the city of Monroe, Ore.; office manager at National Frozen Foods in Albany;  officer manager at Oregon State University in Corvallis, and custodial service manager for Garten Services in Salem.

Palmquist also serves in the US Army Reserve. He is presently special projects command sergeant major.


Eileen Stein

Eileen Stein

For 11 years, Eileen Stein was the city manager of the city of Sisters. In April, she resigned with the Sisters City Council voting 3 to 2 to accept her resignation.

As the city manager of Sisters, her achievements include developing operating budgets from $9 to $13.5 million with staff; managing a staff ranging from 12 to 20 full-time equivalents; working with law enforcement; and managing community development / planning, economic development, urban renewal; and streets, water and sewer utilities.

Stein also responded to rapid population growth, which doubled in a five-year period.

She oversaw modernization and expansion of city equipment and facilities.

Stein also has worked for the cities of Springfield, Ore., as a senior management analyst; Rio Rancho, New Mexico as budge analyst; and Pasadena, Calif.

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