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Philomath
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Council issues positive performance evaluation for city manager

The Philomath City Council issued a favorable performance evaluation for City Manager Chris Workman earlier this week through a prepared release.

Councilors had discussed Workman’s evaluation in executive session on Nov. 8 and approved a press release following an executive session on Nov. 22 that stated “the City Council is happy to report that the city and our residents are in good hands with Chris Workman continuing to serve as our city manager, as he has since 2014.”

According to the release, the council used an evaluation process which examined key performance indicators as they relate to the city’s strategic plan, stating, “Overall, the council concluded that it was quite pleased with Mr. Workman’s performance.”

The release specifically mentioned Workman’s ability to establish a strong relationship between the city and state legislators, which resulted in a $12 million grant to the city of Philomath for the construction of a new water treatment plant and reservoir planned.

“This and the city’s strong financial position has enabled the City Council to plan for the phase-out of the general fund fee and reduced water rates in 2022,” the release stated.

The council also lauded Workman for:

• Involvement in the incorporation of the city’s Housing Needs Analysis, Economic Opportunities Analysis, Buildable Lands Inventory and the Main Street Plan into its Comprehensive Plan for the purpose of guiding local governance.

• Involvement with the incorporation of new design standards into Philomath code in preparation for the Downtown Safety and Streetscapes project that is planned for construction in summer 2022.

• The recruitment and hiring of Steve Larrabee as the city’s finance director, replacing Joan Swanson, who retired after several years in the position.

• The creation of a new staff position to increase the city’s capacity and hiring of Chelsea Starner as assistant to the city manager.

• Leadership with the ongoing efforts in support of the Streetscapes project that resulted in his management of numerous ad hoc working groups and committees that are made up of public volunteers.

• Planning and hosting a large number of public meetings, both in virtual and hybrid formats, “that have been largely handled with grace and a welcoming spirit.”

The release noted areas of improvement for Workman as:

• Better communication with the council.

• More timely public engagement.

• Delegating responsibilities.

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