Blaine gets closer to finding city manager


The city of Blaine could select a new city manager as early as Thursday, December 1.

Mayor Mary Lou Steward said during the November 28 Blaine City Council meeting that the city had whittled down 30 initial applications. City council reviewed and selected its top five candidates during a recent executive session, which dropped to four when one person left the running. The four candidates were slated to visit Blaine on November 30, and council was expected to vote on the candidates in a December 1 executive session, interim city manager Dave Wilbrecht said.

The city hired Strategic Government Resources for $30,000 to recruit a new city manager after Michael Jones resigned in June to pursue a position as county administrator for Island County. Jones spent 15 years working for the city, four of which were as manager.

The hiring timeline seems to be on track with what the city expected, as Jones previously said he thought it would take until January 2023 for the city to hire a new manager.

The city manager will oversee about 70 staff members while being responsible for the city’s day-to-day administrative duties. The manager makes recommendations to council, while ultimately working under council’s direction. The candidate is expected to earn $150,000 to $170,000 and must live within Blaine school district boundaries, according to the job posting,

Here are the final four candidates for the city manager position.

Gurdeep Bains

Gurdeep Bains is a Blaine resident and chief financial officer of Pampa Metals in Vancouver, B.C., a copper and gold exploration company with projects in Chile. Bains has over 20 years’ experience as a certified public accountant, and is a Blaine Chamber of Commerce director. He’s worked as a chief financial officer of OK Tire in Surrey and vice president of internal audit and financial analysis at Canaccord Genuity in Vancouver and Toronto.

Jerry Gabrielatos

Jerry Gabrielatos was the city manager of West Linn, Oregon, a city of 27,000 people in Portland’s southern suburbs, before leaving in August, according to his resume. Gabrielatos served as assistant city manager of Albert Lea, Minnesota, a city of 18,000 people, where he helped the city revitalize its downtown and focus on workforce development. He also worked for three members of Chicago City Council. 

Michael Harmon

Michael Harmon is the chief operating officer of High Plains Power, an electric utility provider in Riverton, Wyoming. He was the city administrator of Spearfish, South Dakota, a city of just over 12,300 people, and city administrator of Fairfield, Iowa. Harmon said in his cover letter that, while working in Spearfish, he led 125 full-time staff members, oversaw a $42 million operating budget and tackled demanding wastewater infrastructure needs.

Russell Martin

Russell Martin is the manager of Camp Verde, Arizona, a town about 1.5 hours north of Phoenix with a population of just over 12,200 people. Martin has worked as the manager for the past 12 years, where he helped negotiate a land agreement with the Yavapai-Apache Nation, build a new library and negotiate a water company purchase, according to his resume.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here