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City considers adding new director position
Top 10 - Nolan Ming, new headshot.jpg

Dust off your resume. McMinnville officials are taking steps towards filling an open director position. 

The city’s Building and Grounds Committee met to considering adding a director to Community Development and placing funds into its budget at the first quarterly review. 

The Community Development Department provides one-stop services for all planning, building and property maintenance activity within the City of McMinnville. The department is also responsible for current and long-range planning, geographic information systems (GIS), mapping, code compliance and administration of McMinnville’s Stormwater (MS4) and Floodplain Management programs. 

Staff strive to promote the orderly growth, development and improvement of the city and promote safety, livability and economic vitality through efficient and collaborative application of building and development codes. 

The cost for a Community Development Department director caused sticker shock and could delay the hiring process. 

“As we know, development in the city has been hot and heavy lately and we’ve been busier than ever” said city administrator Nolan Ming, who has been filling both positions for more than a year. “With the demands of the city administrator position and the community development director, there really needs to be two people.”

Ming has also been project manager over the city’s $10 million renovation and expansion of its recreation center, a cost-saving decision made by city officials when the lowest estimate to fill that position came in at $75,000 and the highest at $200,000. 

“Developers, contractors and homeowners really need to have someone focused solely on making sure we are doing our part to facilitate local development and ensuring the Community development department is functioning to encourage economic growth within our community. To hire a director, you are talking, with salary and benefits, somewhere in the range of, and I went high, the $117,000 mark.”

Alderman Everett Brock was the first to express shock.

“The $117,000 sounds high, if we hire someone in at $60,000 or $65,000,” he said. 

Ming was hired in as director at a salary of $60,000. 

“The average salary for our directors is $78,000,” said Ming. “The previous salary was considerably low.”

Brock replied, “If someone starts out at $70,000 or $75,000, that’s still less than $100,000,” said Brock. 

Mayor Ben Newman suggested that 40 percent would be an accurate total for calculating retirement and benefits based on salary – bring the total to $105,000.

Ming expressed a desire to relinquish the director position immediately, which Brock resisted. 

“I understand where you’re coming from,” said Brock. “You want to push this along. That department needs direction. I’m not knocking you for this. I understand why you’re doing it.”

Ming replied, “I would fill in, as needed, until then.”

“Nolan is being pulled up, down, left and right,” said Newman. “I think he needs to focus on being city administrator and finishing up the civic center.”

Brock agreed. 

The measure was tabled for further consideration, while Ming reviews the budget to determine where approximately $100,000 can be pulled for salary and benefits, if an individual is selected that warrants top salary.