Jon Nelson CYSA

Jon Nelson, former Corvallis' city manager, will meet with the Lebanon City Council on Tuesday to talk about the interim city manager position.

LEBANON — The Lebanon City Council will hold a public work session at noon Tuesday at the Santiam Travel Station, 750 Third St., to discuss hiring an interim city manager.

City Manager John Hitt officially retired Dec. 31, but agreed to work part-time on a contract basis until his replacement is found.

But Hitt met recently with Mayor Paul Aziz and said he would like to step down sooner if a replacement could be found. He also recently told the council he planned to be gone for about three weeks in May.

He is currently being paid $60 per hour with a maximum of $10,000 per month, plus $1,000 per month in deferred compensation.

He had originally told the council he wanted to retire by the end of November 2012, but the council was not successful in finding a qualified replacement and also wanted to wait until after the November election so if there were new council members, they could take part in the hiring process.

Aziz said the council will meet with former Corvallis City Manager Jon Nelson at the work session. Nelson retired in 2011 after 18 years in that position.

He spent several months as the interim city manager in Dallas in 2012 and has more than 30 years of experience in municipal administration in Corvallis, Pendleton and Missoula, Mont.

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“This is going to be a question and answer session,” Aziz said. “We would then take a proposed agreement to the city council meeting next week.”

During his tenure in Corvallis, Nelson helped coordinate the formation of a library district, the Vision 2020 plan and renovation of the downtown riverfront area.

Upon Nelson’s retirement, longtime Corvallis City Councilor Hal Brauner praised Nelson as a “consensus builder.”

“I have met with Jon and was very impressed,” Aziz said. “I think this would be a good move for us to bridge the gap until we hire a new city manager.”

Greg Prothman, owner of the Prothman Company, told council members last week that he expects to receive 30 to 50 applications for the Lebanon job.

He plans to advertise nationally on the Internet, but also to send letters to about 800 administrators in communities of 3,000 or more in 12 Western states.

The council agreed that the salary range should be up to $135,000.Prothman said the council should be able to make a formal offer to a successful candidate in 90 days.

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Alex Paul is the Linn County reporter for the Democrat-Herald. He can be contacted at 541-812-6114 or alex.paul@lee.net.