Vernonia has hired a new City Administrator, which is good news. The bad news is they also have a problem on their hands.
The City has been without a permanent City Administrator for over eight months, since the City Council voted to fire previous Administrator Bill Haack in December of 2013.
Council always has a tough decision when they choose a new City Administrator. This time the choice was complicated by who was among the candidates.
The new hire, Gian Paolo “Paul” Mammone will arrive on September 1st with an impressive resume and list of credentials. He is upbeat about his new position and seems in tune and suited to dealing with the needs of the community. He does come with some baggage as he has held four positions in four communities during the last six years. Vernonia also does not have a good track record in bringing in “outsiders” to be our City Administrator. Without going through the long list of recent Administrators who have come and gone, let’s just say this scenario has had mostly mixed results. So the choice of Mammone does raise some eyebrows and opens the door for some questions.
Since Haack was fired, Mayor Josette Mitchell has unselfishly stepped in to act as Interim City Administrator. Mitchell also filled in as Interim City Administrator when Haack was previously fired and then brought back to the position in 2011. During her time filling the dual roles of Mayor and unpaid City Administrator Mitchell has accomplished a lot. She has organized City Hall and dealt with the day-to-day operations of City business in a way that has not happened in many, many years. She has managed several difficult projects with success and worked on repairing relationships with several city partners. She has been responsive to public issues as well as to the needs of city staff and the many City Committees which advise the City Council on policy. She has been a positive force for the City and has been willing to learn when she has not had the background or training to deal with the specifics the position calls for. Mitchell stepped up and did an excellent job and deserves praise and thanks for her effort on behalf of the citizens of Vernonia. Read More