Baker City Mayor Loran Joseph expects the City Council to offer the city manager job to one of three candidates during a special meeting this evening.

Councilors will meet at 7 p.m. by a video link, but council chambers at City Hall, 1655 First St., will be open to the public, with limited seating due to COVID-19 requirements.

That meeting will be preceded by an executive session, which will be closed to the public, at 6:30 p.m.

Oregon’s Public Records Law allows city councils to discuss certain issues, including the employment of a city manager, during an executive session.

But councils must reconvene in an open, public session before making any decision.

Last week the three finalists for the city manager job visited Baker City. Steve Ashworth is from Alpine, Wyoming, Scott McClure is from Monmouth, and Jonathan Cannon is from Saluda, North Carolina.

The three are vying to replace Fred Warner Jr., who is retiring at the end of the year.

Fourteen people applied for the job this summer.

Warner has been the city manager since May 2016. In Baker City’s council-manager form of government, the manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the city, and has the authority to hire and fire city department heads, managers and other employees.

The City Council, which consists of seven elected members, is responsible for choosing and overseeing the city manager, who carries out the Council’s priorities.

Although the current slate of councilors plans to hire Warner’s replacement, the new city manager will work with a mostly different group of councilors. When the Council convenes for its first meeting of 2021 in early January, five new councilors, those elected Nov. 3, will be sworn in.

Among the current councilors, Lynette Perry, whose seat was not up for election Nov. 3, and Jason Spriet, who won a second term, will still be members of the Council in 2021.

Perry and Spriet will be joined by Kerry McQuisten, Shane Alderson, Joanna Dixon, Johnny Waggoner Sr. and Heather Sells.

Robin Nudd, the city’s human resources manager, on behalf of the current City Council invited the five councilors-elect to meet the three city manager candidates the evening of Nov. 12 at City Hall.

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