Wearing many hats: David Marshall Sublimity’s first city manager

September, 2016 Posted in News, People
Sublimity City Manager David Marshall

Sublimity City Manager David Marshall

By Mary Owen

Sublimity welcomes David Marshall as the city’s first-ever city manager, a job that embraces many roles.

Marshall said his new job will be challenging as he juggles many hats including city manager, finance director, contracts administrator, director of planning, city recorder, elections officer and human relations specialist.

A Vietnam War veteran who left active duty with the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant commander in 1978, Marshall is certainly qualified and ready for the tasks.

Jokingly, he said there is maybe one or two more things he will do that he has “forgotten.”

“That does make it easy to ‘collaborate’ with my counterparts – they are all me.”

After leaving the U.S. Navy, Marshall worked for 13 years in the private sector as a business manager, facilities manager and construction project manager for two Fortune 100 companies in San Diego, Calif.

He moved to Oregon in 1992 to teach at Rogue Community College for nine quarters, he then left for a business manager position at the Mountain Home School District in Idaho.

“For the most part, I’ve been in similar positions at three other Oregon school districts, recently leaving the Phoenix-Talent School District for this position,” he said.

Marshall, who also spent from 2010 to 2013 as the finance director for the city of Newport, Ore., has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in communications management.

His new position has been challenging, he said, but “also gives me the opportunity to organize the administration and operations of a beautiful small city and hand it over to my successor someday.”

Marshall’s biggest challenges include the relationship between the Sublimity City Council and the employees, which he hopes to improve as he settles in to his new role.

“Sublimity has a remarkably low permanent tax rate, one of the six or seven lowest in the state’s 242 cities, a staggering backload of work, and budgets and audits that need a lot of ‘aligning,’” he said of other challenges he faces.

As well as working on these challenges, Marshall said he will continue to meet “the citizens of this remarkable town,” help the city council develop goals and a strategic plan, and improve the city’s Web page to be more active in reaching citizens.

He said there is no spare time in his work day, but he has enjoyed riding his bicycle during the evenings.

“I ride my bike in the evenings on Coon Hollow, Triumph and Fern Ridge roads, at least the combines are gone,” he said. “An encounter with them, for a cyclist, is a breath-taking experience! When I return home to the Rogue Valley for the weekends, I spend time with the remaining two of the nine dogs that my wife and I have rescued over the years. And bike throughout the rural areas of Jackson County.”

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