Finalists for Medford’s City Manager position come to town

MEDFORD, Ore.- The three finalists for the City of Medford’s City Manager position came to town Monday.

Candidates met with community leaders at a meet and greet to talk about why they hope to come to Medford. The City Manager operates similarly to the CEO of a business as the city has hundreds of employees. With Brian Sjothun retiring later this year, the pressure is on for his replacement.

Eli Matthews, President and CEO of the Chamber of Medford and Jackson County, is on the stakeholders committee that got to interview the candidates.

As the President of the Chamber, of course, we want a City Manager that understands the partnership between the private and public sector. It’s one thing to, obviously, lead the city and have a strong city hall, which we’re expecting, but we’re also looking for a candidate that’s going to be a bridge-builder to our community and that’s going to help leverage all the different organizations.

The three finalists for the city manager position came into town for the final part of the process, which includes a community tour, interview sessions with city leadership and staff, community stakeholders, and the mayor and city councilors.

“We, kind of, hear their perspective on government as well as what they want to do when they get here,” Matthews said.

The only local candidate for the role is Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic. He’s been the Grants Pass City Manager for 19 years and has over 28 years of local government experience. He says Medford offers him lots of opportunities both personally and professionally.

I love Southern Oregon. Medford provides an opportunity for me to move to a location where I still have the ability to keep my connection with my friends and my family and one of the things that I’ve noticed about Medford is they’re very supportive and they invest in their community.

The second candidate is Rob Field. He has more than 23 years of local government experience. Most recently, Field served as the City Manager for San Bernardino, California. He says what Medford has to offer excites him.

It’s just a great place, it’s a beautiful place and the opportunities in Medford are significant. I’ve done a lot of economic development work, lot of homelessness work and other things and I think there’s the potential to do a lot of really good work on behalf of the citizens.

Nathan George, the third finalist, also has over 23 years of local government experience. He’s the current City Manager of Tillamook, Oregon. He feels a strong collaborative approach is the way to go.

Feels like it is a really good fit for me. My top priorities are really working- teamwork and employees, making sure everyone has a safe environment and work together and creating that team environment to be able to move forward and do lots of great things.

Matthews says whoever is appointed will be a strong leader who helps to push the community forward.

“We have a tremendous amount of momentum in our community, we’ve had a lot of victories lately, our City Manager Brian Sjothun has done a really good job, and we want to make sure that we put somebody at the helm to continue to accomplish goals and get things done,” Matthews said.

Mayor Randy Sparacino says the new City Manager will be announced to the public by July.

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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