City Manager

City of Gresham, OR | Full-time


The Gresham Community

As Oregon’s fourth-largest city with more than 111,000 residents, Gresham is a welcoming community of hard-working people where tradition and heritage meet innovation and opportunity.

Located just minutes from Oregon’s iconic Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the City of Portland, and the Portland International Airport, Gresham’s location is ideal for families and businesses wanting to start something new and grow. Within the City of Gresham, residents are encouraged to enjoy our city’s unparalleled natural beauty in our 1,103 acres of park land, trails, and natural areas.

Gresham’s network of schools provides educational opportunities for students of all ages, with many of the public schools having recently been rebuilt and modernized. Gresham also offers many preschools, charter schools, private schools, and higher education opportunities, including Mt. Hood Community College.

Our diverse and growing population includes young professionals, families, new immigrant communities, and long-time residents. Gresham’s residents care deeply about our heritage as a homestead and agricultural community and are committed to a thriving and vibrant future. Today, Gresham is a dynamic, innovative, and rapidly growing city where families and businesses have a mutual desire and drive to thrive. In Gresham, we are family.

Inside City Hall

Gresham operates as a Council-Manager form of government designed to promote effective management within a transparent, responsive, and accountable structure. The Mayor and the six Councilors provide leadership and develop policies to guide the City and adopt the budget and other ordinances. The City Manager is appointed by the Council to oversee operations to ensure policies are carried out and that City services are effectively, efficiently, and equitably provided. A City Attorney is employed by Council to manage in-house legal and risk management services for the City.

Rapid growth, ever-changing needs, and a prudent budget demand a City government that is resourceful and resilient. We pride ourselves on going above and beyond to serve the residents, placing the community first in our decisions and practices. Gresham values collaborative partnerships, practical strategies, inventive ideas, nimble approaches, and equitable outcomes.

The City’s 588 full-time regular status employees provide services through the following departments: City Attorney; Communications; Community Development; Community Livability; Economic Development; Environmental Services; Budget and Finance; Fire and Emergency Services; Human Resources; Information Technology; Neighborhoods and Community Enhancement; Office of Governance and Management; Parks; Police; Urban Design and Planning; and Urban Renewal. The adopted 2020-21 budget is $653.1 Million, with a general fund of $82.6 Million. The City proudly provides high-quality services and seeks innovative approaches to meet the needs of the community while operating under one of the lowest tax rates in the state.

Through the Equity and Inclusion Initiative, Gresham strives to create a diverse and welcoming workplace. The City has a talented and collaborative management team that provides the highest level of service to the community. Our commitment to each other is built upon strong mutual trust, collective responsibility, and support. We value close collaboration and teamwork, acceptance of change, and public stewardship.

In Gresham, we get things done. Every employee at the City of Gresham has an opportunity to contribute to this organization’s success and is charged with delivering the very best services to our residents.

The Position

The City Manager serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the City and is responsible for the effective and efficient administration of City operations. The City Manager plans, organizes, manages, and provides administrative direction and oversight of all City functions and activities, including the enforcement of all applicable codes and regulations, financial activities, and the economic performance of the City.

The City Manager directly assists the City Council in translating their vision and goals into actionable plans and participates and contributes to the development and administration of the annual Council Work Plan. The City Manager implements priorities and directives of the Mayor and City Council and ensures they are kept informed of functions, activities, and programs, as well as legal, social, and economic issues affecting City activities. In addition, the City Manager recommends administrative controls and improvements for enhancing operations and services to the Mayor and City Council.

The City Manager develops and implements programs and strategic initiatives and effectively analyzes and evaluates goals and objectives to improve performance and achieve desired results. Through strong leadership, the City Manager collaborates with department directors to prioritize projects and initiatives and advises on more complex and sensitive issues in order to drive successful outcomes. Furthermore, the City Manager provides leadership, guidance, and direction to the City’s diverse workforce. 

Through sound financial management, the City Manager oversees all financial activities and contributes to the development, administration, and monitoring of the annual City budget. The City Manager develops justifications for budgetary recommendations and adjustments and actively participates in forecasting additional funds for staffing and resources.

The City Manager engages the community and effectively represents the City to the public and outside agencies. The City Manager develops positive external relationships and advises the City on cooperative efforts with other government units, public-private sector partnerships, potential consolidation of services, and related issues. In addition, the City Manager may organize special task forces and other appropriate committees and projects to address community problems and needs.

The Priorities

Internal Leadership Priorities

  • Continue to drive financial stability. Develop sustainable budgets, maintain fiscal accountability, and plan for the long-term. Work to understand the financial impacts of Council goals and projects and make difficult but necessary decisions to balance fiscal reality with the City’s needs.
  • Build strong, positive relationships with the Mayor, City Council, City Attorney, and City staff. Establish clear expectations, provide clarity around roles, and ensure consistent and transparent communication throughout the organization.
  • Conduct a thorough organizational assessment. Thoughtfully identify opportunities and implement changes that ultimately create an organizational culture and structure built on trust and mutual respect, support a unified vision, effectively leverage the talents of the team, and ensure the City continues to meet the needs of the community.
  • Encourage and set the tone for greater collaboration and unity amongst the Executive Leadership Team. Build an environment of trust, identify opportunities for cross-departmental partnerships, support sound decision-making, and leverage the team’s knowledge and power to bring greater impact to City initiatives.
  • Actively champion, support, and implement the City’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Collaborate with the consultant to develop an implementation plan and carry it out to fruition. Intentionally celebrate lived experiences and continue to purposely weave diversity, equity, and inclusion into everything we do.

External Leadership Priorities

  • Take the necessary time to learn and understand our diverse community. Intentionally build connections, support engagement, provide transparent communication, and ensure the City is connected to the community at all levels.
  • Collaborate with City Council, staff, and, most importantly, the community to develop a vision and long-term strategy for the City. With the best interests of Gresham at the forefront, be mindful of a future that includes livability, affordability, public safety reform, thriving businesses, and a diverse and inclusive community.
  • Assess long-term and sustainable funding sources for Police, Fire, and Parks. Through robust community outreach and input, evaluate various models and identify desired service levels that support community health, safety, and prosperity.
  • Continue to explore the development of housing and citywide housing services, including strategies and partnerships to address homelessness. Prioritize planning for recognized deficiencies in affordable housing, implement the two projects identified through the Metro Housing Bond and plan for the remaining funds.
  • Support the Climate Action Strategy, which builds and expands upon the 2011 Sustainable Gresham Initiatives through new programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build on past City successes such as the City’s Net Zero Wastewater Treatment Plan and Green Business Program. Ensure equity is prioritized to address the needs of our low-income populations, neighborhoods, and communities of color. Partner with public and private stakeholders and continue to educate city staff, volunteers, and the community about climate impacts and resiliency.
  • With a One Gresham, One City mentality, further support sustainable growth, equitable development, and redevelopment initiatives. Understand our assets in order to elevate our presence in the region, create a destination location, promote a livable and family-oriented community, and develop a hub of economic activity.

The Ideal Candidate

A strategic thinker, the City Manager easily sees the big picture and long-term vision for the City of Gresham. The successful candidate maintains an understanding of the issues affecting the community and leverages that knowledge to drive decisions. The ideal candidate is diplomatic and navigates political relationships with ease and brings forward strong executive leadership skills necessary for managing a complex, changing environment.

The City Manager brings highly developed communication skills and maintains objectivity in working with elected officials. The successful candidate has a strong history of developing effective relationships and partners with the Mayor and City Council to provide sound advice and guidance, as necessary. Deeply valuing honesty and transparency, the City Manager believes in cultivating objectivity and independence to ensure against any perception of bias. Furthermore, the ideal candidate is confident yet humble, with a willingness to respectfully push back on the City Council and community as needed.

The successful candidate brings proven expertise in change management and effectively leads through adversity. Considered a calculated risk-taker, the City Manager exercises sound judgment, conducts due diligence, and seeks input to drive efficiency and inform decision-making. The preferred candidate monitors best practices, remains current on social, political, and economic trends, easily identifies problems hindering progress, and develops and implements solutions to drive necessary change. With a fresh perspective, the City Manager routinely supports innovative ideas but recognizes the importance of following through on established goals and initiatives and consistently moves projects forward.

The City Manager has a strong background in strategic planning and execution and understands the importance of building off a solid foundation and works to ensure infrastructure and core service fundamentals are sound. The ideal candidate has an exceptional financial background with a strong commitment to financial sustainability and management and a solid understanding of budgets. The City Manager represents Gresham with integrity and effectively advocates for the City at all times.

The City Manager sets the tone for the organization and brings a sense of calm and stability. An approachable leader, the City Manager nurtures a positive, open, and welcoming environment that values the diversity of thought and works to advance equity and inclusion. An effective leader, the City Manager models behaviors expected throughout the organization, including collaboration, empathy, and appreciation for others. The successful candidate has a strong background in managing, supporting, and empowering employees and believes in growth, professional development, and retention. The ideal candidate is fair, establishes clear expectations, and holds others accountable. The City Manager believes in work-life balance and, above all, has a good sense of humor.

An approachable leader, the City Manager has a history of engaging in effective, meaningful communication with business and community leaders, key stakeholders, and regional partners and routinely demonstrates an ability to build consensus and guide others to decisions. The successful candidate believes in keeping the community well informed and embraces multiple methods of communication to routinely update the public on City services, goals, projects, and initiatives. The City Manager understands and appreciates public service, providing quality of life services, and, above all, values a sense of community. Importantly, the ideal candidate is genuinely excited about the Gresham community.


Ideally, ten years of progressively responsible experience in municipal government, including at least seven years of administrative or leadership responsibility. Prior experience in a full-service city with direct experience working in a growing, diverse community is highly desired. Organizational development knowledge, coupled with experience driving change and transformation, is beneficial. Strong managerial expertise, along with the ability to work closely with the City Council, is essential. A sound financial background with a strong understanding of budgets and financial management is required.

Knowledge of project management principles and methodologies is strongly desired. Broad knowledge of all city services is valuable, with public safety knowledge preferred. Prior labor relations experience with the willingness to actively engage in the negotiation, management, and enforcement of contracts is essential.

A bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, or a similar field or an equivalent combination of education and experience enabling success as the City Manager with the ability to perform the essential functions of the position is required. A master’s degree in Public Administration or a related field is desirable.

Compensation and Benefits

The City Manager contract is at the discretion of the City Council, with a salary range of $185,000 - $225,000.

We encourage a healthy work-life balance and provide nine official paid holidays, personal floating holidays, and generous paid time off.

Other benefits include:

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance benefits
  • Long term disability insurance
  • Participation in the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Health Reimbursement Plan with the City contributing monthly to account for eligible medical expenses
  • Sick leave for longer-term illnesses

To Be Considered

We believe that to deliver the highest level of service to all Gresham community members, it is crucial we employ a diverse workforce, foster an inclusive working environment, and ensure our policies and systems result in equitable outcomes. The City seeks candidates who will support these values by continuously incorporating equity in their daily work and actively contributing to a workplace culture that respects unique viewpoints, life experiences, and cultural perspectives. 

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. The position is open until filled with the first review of applications on March 22, 2021.


Please direct questions to Heather Gantz at or 513-221-0500.

Download Recruitment Brochure