Forrest Neuerburg

The Coquille City Council voted unanimously Monday to hire a new city manager.

More than six months after the council released Sam Baugh as city manager, Mayor Sam Flaherty announced the council chose Forrest Neuerburg as its new leader.

Neuerburg will be coming to Coquille from Monte Vista, Colorado, where he has served as city manager for the last 10 years.

Flaherty said Neuerburg has a history of working in economic development, housing development, community development and urban renewal.

"Several months ago, we entered into a search for a new city manager," Flaherty said. "We had numerous prospects."

Flaherty said the council interviewed several candidates, saying the board unanimously supported hiring Neuerburg.

Councilman Jay Westrum made a motion to hire Neuerburg and Councilman Jake Marshall seconded. The council enthusiastically voted in favor of the motion.

"I'm very excited to have Forrest join us," Councilor Julie Nighswonger said. "He's going to be amazing for our city. We have interviewed him, and it's just been such a mutual agreement that we have all enjoyed him. He's going to do good things for the city."

Westrum spoke directly to Neuerburg, who joined the meeting on the phone, while offering his support.

"I have never seen a person interview so well," Westrum said. "Forrest, we can't see you, but I know you're sitting back there smiling ear to ear. You responses were spot on. I don't think a councilor dropped a question on you where you didn't have an immediate answer. I am so looking forward to having you come out ere and be part of our city."

Marshall also applauded the decision.

"As far as I'm concerned, we have a five-star quarterback coming," he said. "I think he's going to be a perfect fit."

Neuerburg said he was excited about the opportunity and was ready to get to know Coquille better.

"I'm really looking forward to it," he said. "I immediately felt it was a welcoming place. I love small towns. I've worked for small towns all of my career. I'm highly motivated to be there."

Flaherty said Neuerburg will take the position July 19. Until that time, Police Chief Scott Sanders will continue to serve as interim city manager.

The council also voted unaninimouly to hire Karen Costello as city attorney. Costello, who is currently municipal court judge for Coquille, will replace James Martin, who is moving on to other ventures.

"Mr. Martin is not leaving the city of Coquille because of something bad," Flaherty said. "He has new adventures he is pursuing."

Costello said she is happy to take on a larger role for the community.

"I'm really excited that Mr. Martin is going to stay close to help with the transition," Costello said. "What a pleasure it's going to be to work with such a vibrant mayor and council. I'm looking forward to serving you."

When she takes the job as city attorney, Costello will resign as municipal judge.


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