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COQUILLE — After an hour of private deliberations, the Coquille City Council approved a motion to reopen its search for a new city manager at its regularly scheduled City Council meeting Monday night.

The council, which met in an executive session to consider the employment of a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent, voted 4-3 in favor of reopening the search for a new city manager for an additional 30 days.

Coquille Mayor Kathryn Simonetti spoke at the meeting Monday directing Interim City Manager Roberta Vanderwall to consult once again with The Prothman Company, a Washington based firm that the city has employed to provide recruitment services, to extend the search.

Last week, the city hosted a meet-and-greet event at the Coquille Community Center, which included the then-final candidates Sam Baugh and Dan Chandler. The city also held a special meeting Wednesday, Oct. 16, in council chambers to interview Baugh and Chandler.

Baugh, executive director for the South Coast Development Council, is a graduate of Westminster College where he received a master's degree in business administration.

According to the SCDC’s website, Baugh previously worked as regional manager for a Self-Reliance Initiative in Utah where he worked with “thousands to build job skills, personal finance, and self-employment” before moving to Coos County in 2017.  

Chandler, an assistant county administrator for Clackamas County, is a graduate of Western Washington University and Harvard Law School.

According to the Clackamas County’s website, some of Chandler’s duties as a county administrator include “providing advice and counsel on policy and strategic issues” as well as “representing county leadership on a wide range of topics at the federal, state, regional and local levels.”

Interim City Attorney Roger Gould said based on information presented Monday, it appeared the city received a total of 17 applications for the city manager position. The applicants were narrowed down to four finalists two of which dropped out, leaving a remaining two, he said.

The continued search isn’t a rejection of the current applicants, who are still in the running, but rather an extension to see if there are additional candidates interested in the position, said Gould.

Coquille councilors Julie Nighswonger, Hugh Pinkston and Ann Parker joined Simonetti in favor of reopening the search, while councilors Kyle Wirebaugh, Mike Layton and Matt Rowe opposed the vote.

Jefferson School offer rejected

The council also voted Monday night to reject an offer made by Coquille Rising LLC to purchase the old Jefferson School property located on 790 W. 17th St.

Gould, who declined to comment on the details of the offer as well as the reasoning for its rejection, said the city will not be making a counteroffer at this time.

The council voted unanimously to reject the offer.

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Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-2039 or by email at amanda.linares@theworldlink.com.

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