UPDATES: Two candidates move forward in search for city manager

Salem City Manager finalists Keith Stahley (left) and Eric Zimmerman (submitted photos)

The choice of Salem’s next city manager comes down to two candidates.

The Salem City Council has selected nominees Keith Stahley and Eric Zimmerman to present for consideration, the city announced Friday, June 17.

The decision comes after three finalists traveled to Salem on June 15 for a day of talks with the mayor, city councilors, city department and union leaders. They then answered questions submitted by the public during a virtual forum.

City councilors will then visit the candidates’ current hometowns and meet with residents, civic organizations and elected officials before making a selection, according to a news release.

The City Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city and reports to the Salem City Council.

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

Zimmerman most recently worked at the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh and previously worked for Multnomah County and as Deputy City Manager for Medford. He has served in the Oregon National Guard since 2007 and is currently assigned to a unit in Salem.

Former Salem city manager Steve Powers retired Feb. 28 after six years with the city. Kristin Retherford, the city’s director of urban development, has since served as acting city manager.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

Amanda J. Marsh