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Ming reflects on first 18 months as city administrator
Nolan Ming pic with this.jpg
Nolan Ming, shown speaking at a COVID-19 press conference, has seen his first 18 months as McMinnville city administrator packed with challenges, including Civic Center construction and a pandemic.

Nolan Ming was unanimously selected to be McMinnville city administrator in April 2019 and sworn into office May 1.

“My first year and a half as city administrator has been everything I expected and more,” said Ming. “I thrive on challenges and the past year has provided many.”

One of the initial challenges was breaking through the change in dynamic when a co-worker becomes the boss.

“It’s been tricky for everyone to maneuver through the initial weeks and months of the transition from seeing me as a co-worker to seeing me as the boss,” said Ming. “This, of course, is true in any workplace but we’ve been able to work through the initial awkward phase and are now all working forward together.”

Another challenge has been taking on multiple roles including, but not limited to, city administrator, Community Development director, backup building inspector, city COVID-19 response manager, Civic Center project manager/ owner’s representative, and manager for several other projects such as elevator replacement at City Hall, exterior corner repair at City Hall, and the remodel and relocation currently underway at City Hall.

Ming is also a member of the International City and County Managers Association. 

Ming has requested city officials help him lighten the workload by hiring a new Community Development Department director.

“With local development at an all-time high, which we are so thankful for, it has been even more challenging to balance the demands of everything,” said Ming. “The Board of Mayor and Aldermen and staff have all been very supportive and I am so thankful for their support and guidance.”

Job satisfaction has provided a good balance to those challenges.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to work more closely with all departments and getting the opportunity to know in more detail what they do, and what support they need to get their jobs done,” said Ming. “I don’t approach my job as though I’m the expert in all fields. I approach it as the trusted advisor to the elected officials, the citizens, civic groups, outside agencies, department heads, and all staff, who lends an ear and provides advice and direction as they work through their day-to-day challenges.”

The city has accomplished many things over the past 18 months, including:

• Bridge Street bridge repair

• Repair to City Hall exterior corner that was damaged by a vehicle impact

• Dog Park

• Applied for and awarded several grants totaling approximately $2 million.

• Creation of a more formal downtown street closure process, which is meant to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to have input in the development of the process as well as actual street closures.

In addition to these accomplishments, the city has faced several challenges, including:

• Milner Recreation Center remodel and addition project started and is now nearing completion.

• Relocated the Civic Center staff to Three Star Mall.

• Replacement of two department directors and some other key positions.

• Elevator failure and subsequent relocation of all city staff from City Hall to Bell St. and Belmont Dr.

• Putnam County tornado for which our Police, Fire, and Public Works staff provided support for.

•COVID-19 and the formulation and implementation of the city’s COVID-19 response

• Social justice protests

• Regions Bank leaving City Hall and subsequent coordination of return of city staff to City Hall in conjunction with completion of the elevator and other work, including a new walk-up transaction window. 

• Relocation of Police Department to third floor at City Hall.