Salem announces three finalists for next city manager

Salem city manager finalists Keith Stahley (left), Taylor Adams (top right) and Eric Zimmerman (Submitted photos)

Salem City Councilors have selected three finalists for the city’s next top executive.

Candidates Keith Stahley, Taylor Adams and Eric Zimmerman will be in Salem Wednesday, June 15, for a day of interviews with the mayor, city councilors, city department leaders and labor union leadership, according to a Friday news release.

The city manager is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the city and reports to the council. Salem’s previous city manager, Steve Powers, retired Feb. 28 after six years with the city. Kristin Retherford, the city’s urban development director, has been serving as interim city manager since.

All three finalists have prior experience in city leadership, and two are based in the Pacific Northwest, according to biographies released by the city.

Adams has been deputy city manager in Virginia Beach, Virginia since 2015 and was previously chief administrative officer in Starkville, Mississippi.

Stahley has served as assistant city manager in Olympia, Washington since 2019 and was previously the city’s planning and development director for 14 years.

Zimmerman most recently worked at the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh as Oregon Bilateral Affairs Officer, and previously worked for Multnomah County, and as deputy city manager in Medford. He has served in the Oregon National Guard since 2007 and is currently assigned to a unit in Salem.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to ask questions ahead of a virtual public forum Wednesday evening. Submit a question by 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 14 using the form here. The virtual forum will be livestreamed on YouTube by Capital Community Media at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, and broadcast on channel 21.

Following the interviews, city councilors may visit each candidate’s current home for a site visit before making a selection.

-Rachel Alexander