Wednesday evening was the opportunity for the candidates for the newly created Economic Development Manager position to connect with local Corvallis citizens and officials. The evening reception was held at the Benton County Sunset Building.
There are six finalists for this position. They are in alphabetical order:
Karin Berkholtz, former Community Planning Manager Minneapolis, Minnesota, Michael Edwards, former Planner Spokane, Washington, Tom Nelson, former Economic Development Manager, Sherwood, Oregon, Wendy Rudy, Instructor Oregon State University, Kimball Schmidt Consultant San Diego, California and Pam Silbernagel, Community and Economic Development Planner Cascades West Council of Governments. Karin Berkholtz and Kimball Schmidt were unable to make it to Corvallis to attend the reception. They will be interviewed via Skype.
Each of the candidates had the opportunity to share their thoughts on how they would function in the job of Economic Development Manager. The questions posed to the candidates ranged from not wanting growth and jobs, Councilor Beilstein, to how they would interface with the Downtown Corvallis Association and Corvallis Independent Business Alliance by representatives from those business organizations.
The challenge for the new Economic Development Manager will be to provide Corvallis with new opportunities for growth while assuaging those that are for prosperity without growth if that is possible.
Corvallis City Councilors Mark O'Brien Ward 1 and City Council President, Richard Hervey Ward 3, Dan Brown Ward 4, Mike Beilstein Ward 5, Biff Traber Ward 8 were in attendance along with City Manager Jim Patterson and Assistant City Manager Ellen Volmert.
Interviews will be conducted today, August 9th, and it is expected the successful candidate will be announced by late August. The expectation is the successful candidate will begin work in September.