Hillsboro is launching a nationwide search for a new city manager and plan on contracting are hiring Portland-based consultants Waldron HR to run it. City Council opted for the nationwide search, as opposed to an internal appointment or a regional search, during a city council meeting on Tuesday, February 6.

Why should regular citizens care? Because the city manager essentially runs the city.

Hillsboro’s elected city council and mayor are unpaid, outside of a small stipend, and the majority have full time jobs outside of politics. The city manager conducts the day-to-day affairs of the city.

Policy decisions are ultimately made by city council, yes, but the government is run by the staff, and the city manager directs that staff. Staff also make policy recommendations to city council, after taking council’s input into consideration.

Micheal Brown, the city’s longtime city manager, stepped down last month. Robby Hammond, the former Assistant City Manager, is currently serving as the Interim City Manager.

During the work session councillors expressed a desire to find a perfect candidate.

“I want to make sure that we get the best person for that job,” said Councillor Olivia Alcaire, who later stressed the ideal candidate would take diversity seriously.

“I think that there needs to be an equity lens on this process,” said Alcaire.

Mayor Steve Callaway told city staff that a video should be part of the pitch the city uses to draw applicants.

“I think that the richness of our community comes through far more in video than it does in printed words,” said Callaway.