Canby City Administrator Rick Robinson is retiring. Again.
Robinson actually came out of retirement in 2014 to take the job in Canby. He retired in 2011 after a more than 20-year career in executive government in Chico County in northern California and Stanislaus County in central Cali.
Robinson made his presence felt early on in his new job. He was widely credited with helping finally bring the modern new public library and civic building to fruition, for which he was named the Canby Herald’s Person of the Year in 2016.
He’s also known for his wide breadth of knowledge and experience. Not content to just stick to the standard city administrator role, he has also in the past stepped into the shoes of public works director — a hat he is currently wearing following Jennifer Cline’s departure from the city late last year for a new job with ODOT.
If you’re not sure what a city administrator does, well, don’t feel bad. But think about it as sort of the CEO for the city. The mayor and city council are Canby’s top elected officials, of course, and they set policy and overall direction for the city.
But they are basically volunteers — knowledgeable, hard-working volunteers — who generally come together just twice a month for public hearings and to decide ordinances, resolutions and other matters.
The city administrator is a full-time employee whose job is to carry out the decisions and policy direction of the mayor and city council. He or she also oversees most of the other staff who work for the city.
While Robinson has announced his intentions to remain with the city through the end of October, the job is so important that plans for his replacement are already well underway.
The City Council recently approved a contract with Peckham & McKenney, an executive search firm in California, to conduct the recruitment process. Their $26,000 fee includes expenses for three on site meetings, the first of which will be this Wednesday, to establish what the council is looking for in its new city administrator and begin to develop a candidate profile.