Interim City Manager On July 20 Agenda
By Chronicle Staff
The Ashland City Council will consider approval of Gary Milliman to serve as interim Ashland City Manager on July 20 at their regular business meeting.
The appointment, pending approval, comes after current Interim City Manager Adam Hanks resigned. His last day is August 6th. If approved, Milliman would start in August and manage the city while helping to identify a permanent city manager.
According to his resume’ Milliman has roughly 40 years experience in city government, including stints working for the League of Cities. In 2019 he was awarded “outstanding public service and exceptional contributions to city government in Oregon.”
Most recently, Milliman served 11 years as Bookings City Manager. There he lead a downtown revitalization effort, implemented a fuel tax to repair city streets and collaborated with higher education leaders on a development plan and funding for the Curry campus of Southwestern Oregon Community College.
Regionally, he assisted cities in preparing for, managing and recovering from natural disasters, including training employees in incident command techniques and preparation of emergency plans. The Brookings Emergency Operations Center, a critical resource during the Chetco Bar fire of 2017 is named for Milliman.
Milliman also worked as city manager of South Gate, CA, at a time when it was facing bankruptcy, feuding among elected officials and allegations of corruption. Within three years, according to Southgate records, the city was restored to a balanced budget and staff stability.
“I’m a calm person in a crisis and I’m good at bringing people together. I pride myself on that,” said Milliman of his assets in seeking to assist Ashland during its transition.
City councilors, community groups and Ashland city staff have met with Milliman over the last week in preparation for his appointment which must be confirmed by the council.
Milliman has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California and currently serves as a senior fellow for the Center for Public Service at Portland State University. He’s also a senior advisor for the Oregon City/County Management Association. For many years he was the leading League of Cities Southern California official .
Since his retirement from the top job in Brookings, he is serving as a Municipal Court judge in four rural Oregon communities.
If his appointment is approved, he would start on August 1.
Meantime, the city continues its search for a finance director. The City Council approved the hiring of an interim finance director at its last meeting.