Mayor Resigns, Accepts Position as Assistant City Administrator

Following an extensive recruitment and selection process, the City of Vernonia is happy to announce the appointment of Josette Mitchell as its new Assistant to the City Administrator / City Recorder.

“I am extremely pleased to add Josette to our team, especially as we continue to focus on the City’s growth,” said City Administrator Gian Paolo Mammone.  “She brings years of extensive, and intensive, hands on City operations, having served both as its chief legislative officer (Mayor) and executive (Interim City Administrator) officer.”

Vernonia Mayor Josette Mitchell reads her letter of resignation during the March 2, 2015 City Council meeting.

Vernonia Mayor Josette Mitchell reads her letter of resignation during the March 2, 2015 City Council meeting.

Mitchell, who began her third term as Mayor of the City of Vernonia in January, resigned her post to accept the new staff position following the March 2, 2015  City Council meeting.  Mitchell has also served on two separate occasions as Interim City Administrator for the City.

The City Charter does not allow an elected official to also be an employee of the City.

“With the recent retirement of Joann Glass as City Recorder we looked at this recruitment as an opportunity to improve the organization in a way that would go beyond the position of the City Recorder,” said Mammone.

City Council President Randy Parrow was appointed to fill the position of Mayor at the request of the rest of the City Council at the March 2, City Council meeting.  Councilor Kim Tierney was elected as the new Council President.  The City Council will discuss the process they will use to select a new Councilor at a scheduled workshop on March 30.   The City Charter allows the sitting Council to appoint someone to finish Parrow’s term which expires in 2016.

“Over the past six months we have worked on an assessment of our organization and identified some functions that were extremely important for us, but that we could not discharge without some level of expertise,” said Mammone.   “This position was created with specific areas of responsibility in mind, as it was projected it would  assume oversight and responsibility for the City Recorder position, FEMA administrator, oversight of  billing systems and integrations with GIS, and administrative assistant to the City Administrator.  We looked, therefore at this recruitment as an opportunity to hire someone who could help us discharge these very important tasks in house.”

According to Mammone, eleven candidates applied for the position of Assistant to the City Administrator/City Recorder, and the top three potential candidates were interviewed.

“With experience and established relationships in the private, public, and not for profit sector I am looking forward to adding Mayor Mitchell’s expertise to the City’s team as we focus on complex projects and compliance with FEMA Floodplain management,” said Mammone.  “Mayor Mitchell brings direct experience in helping deliver the services needed in a growing but challenged community.  Josette’s commitment to public service, community engagement, community knowledge, complete awareness of our operations, and specific expertise in some of the most needed areas of help made her a clear choice to assist us in managing the city.  Her strong experience, obvious leadership skills and energetic spirit are all reasons that I believe she is a great fit for our office and our community.”