John Day may have found a new city manager to replace Peggy Gray, who is retiring after 15 years.
John Day City Council members unanimously agreed to appoint Nick Green to the position upon a mutually agreed upon employment agreement Tuesday evening.
Gray said he has been living in Bothell, Washington, and previously worked as a senior associate for Booz Allen Hamilton before returning to school to obtain his master’s degree in public administration at the University of Washington, which he completed earlier this year. She said he sat across the table from three-star generals in his previous job.
“I think he’s going to definitely do a good job and take the city in a new direction,” she said.
Green said he was a senior executive with Booz Allen Hamilton for seven years and a program manager for Jacobs Engineering for three years.
“I was a management consultant,” he said. “I led large-scale organization change and transformation initiatives for federal government agencies. And I also worked in technology acquisition — basically, my role was to help field advanced technologies to soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Mayor Ron Lundbom said Green previously managed a staff of 40 with a budget of $8 million. Lundbom said Green “did his homework” on the city, reading several years of council minutes, the city charter and its employee handbook. Lundbom said, during his employee interview, Green suggested two possible projects — wastewater and marketing programs — that could benefit the city.
“I was convinced after his interview,” Lundbom said. “I saw a lot of potential.”
Lundbom said Green’s wife was raised in John Day, and she still has family in the area, which made the position desirable.
Green said he married Morgan Haney, daughter of Tom and Ginger Haney, about 10 years ago and has visited John Day twice a year since then. He said they have two children, Kaden, 10, and Penelope, 2, and were looking for an opportunity to be closer to family.
“I love John Day,” he said. “It’s just a very serene place. Family is very important to me. We love the outdoors and camping. I personally like playing golf and riding motorcycles, and I’m an avid reader. Those are my hobbies. It sounded like a pretty good fit.”
Green earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Brigham Young University in 2003. He specialized in rural economic development and local government for his master’s.
“I will definitely be focused in this role on helping to grow the economy and continuing the legacy of responsible city management,” he said. “Peggy has done a good job of managing through a turbulent time in our nation’s history, so I’m hoping to build on her foundation, and I’m very excited for the opportunity to get engaged and look at where we might have opportunities for new job creation, especially when I look for opportunities in advanced industries — with my technical background, that’s certainly my strength — and then help look for new opportunities, like recreational tourism.”
Council President Steve Schuette said Green has “great connections with people who can get things done.”
“He’s very enthusiastic, energetic, very adept in electronic communication,” Schuette said. “I think he will bring us into the 21st century.”
Schuette said the city had many qualified applicants, which made the decision difficult.
The city received 20 applications and interviewed five finalists.
Gray said, if an employment agreement is reached, Green could start June 20.