Nora Mitchell will be the city of Port Townsend’s interim city manager starting Monday. She currently is the director for finance and administrative services. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Nora Mitchell will be the city of Port Townsend’s interim city manager starting Monday. She currently is the director for finance and administrative services. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Townsend selects finance director as interim city manager

City may hear from preferred candidate for permanent post by July 1

PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend City Council has appointed an interim city manager to begin work on Monday.

Nora Mitchell, the city’s director of finance and administrative services, was approved last Monday night to step in for David Timmons, who will retire Friday after 20 years of service.

Timmons was hired as Port Townsend’s first city manager in 1999.

The council voted 5-0 in favor of Mitchell, with two members excused.

Mitchell has served as acting city manager several times this year and has played a lead role in organizing the city’s search for a full-time replacement.

As interim city manager, Mitchell will receive an adjusted monthly salary of $12,350.75, according to city documents.

Mitchell said that falls within the middle of the range of the current city manager position, which was documented in the 2019 city budget between $130,010 and $158,271.

The council last Wednesday named John Mauro, the chief sustainability officer for the Auckland Council in Auckland, New Zealand, its preferred candidate for the permanent position out of four finalists.

Mauro was sent an official offer sheet late Sunday night, Mitchell told council members, but he was traveling back to New Zealand on Monday and had committed to speak at a conference this week.

“At this point in time, we remain optimistic, but we need to be a little more patient,” Mitchell said.

“He had asked for a week to get back to us. We may not hear anything from him until next Monday.”

Should he accept, the city will initiate a more thorough background check, including criminal and financial history, Mitchell said.

Mauro, originally from Auburn, Maine, also is a finalist for town manager in Windham, Maine, according to a June 4 story in the Portland Press Herald. Windham is less than 30 miles south of Auburn.

A separate story in the Press Herald this week detailed Mauro’s meet-and-greet in Windham last Friday and how he found the town “irresistible” due to its proximity to Portland, Maine, and other rural areas.

Mitchell said Mauro was the sole finalist for the position in Maine, but she said he also used terms such as “thrilled” about the opportunity in Port Townsend.

“It sounds like he was very positive,” Mitchell said about her conversation with Phil McKenney, the city-hired recruiter from Peckham & McKenney. “He thought the collaborative process we used was very special.”

Mitchell will continue in the interim role until the council hires a full-time city manager. She will revert back to her current position and salary on Jan. 1, 2020.

She described being at “the top step” of the finance director’s salary, the range for which was between $99,751 and $127,461 annually, according to the 2019 city budget.

The council also waived the requirement that the interim city manager live within city limits. Mitchell lives in Port Ludlow.

________

Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at bmclean@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Erin Kluck of Port Townsend watches as her son Kaspar, 4, gives Santa Claus a high five during Saturday’s Uptown Port Townsend Farmers Market. Santa, aka Bryan Hood, said he’ll be manning the Crusty Crumb bakery table again, as the last two farmers markets of the year happen this Saturday and on Dec. 17. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/For Peninsula Daily News)
Give me five

Erin Kluck of Port Townsend watches as her son Kaspar, 4, gives… Continue reading

Santa, Christopher Thomsen, holds Lizzie on Sunday at Airport Garden and Nursery in Port Angeles as part of a fundraiser for the Peninsula Friends of Animals. More than a dozen dogs, some more wiggly than others, sat in Santa’s lap for a photo. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Furry fundraiser

Santa, Christopher Thomsen, holds Lizzie on Sunday at Airport Garden and Nursery… Continue reading

Woman files suit against Olympic Medical Center

She cites behavior of former physician

Utility upgrades to close campground at Heart O’ the Hills next year

Project to replace water pipes could be finished in June

Repair shop to close Dec. 23

The Recyclery to focus on cycling programs

Chamber of Jefferson County aims to bring back its Young Professionals group

Members sought for task force that will help relaunch vision

First Fed Foundation awards $400,000 in fall grants

First Fed Foundation has awarded 22 organizations a total… Continue reading

2022 Woman of Excellence to be announced

The Port Townsend branch of the American Association of… Continue reading

Jefferson Transit to discuss board composition

The Jefferson Transit Authority Board will discuss the composition… Continue reading

Most Read