The Brookings City Council has appointed Janell Howard as City Manager effective July 1.
The City Council approved an employment agreement with Howard at its May 29 meeting.
Howard has served as Brookings Finance and Human Resources Director since 2009 and served in a similar position with the City of Coos Bay for 10 years. She also served as an audit consultant and audit manager for six years.
City Manager Gary Milliman has begun transitioning duties to Howard as she similarly restructures the finance and human resources function. Milliman’s last day in the office will be June 29, but will remain available to help with any “loose ends.” He said he expects a smooth transition.
“I have had Janell in mind as a possible successor since I hired her nine years ago,” Milliman said, noting that he included the role of acting City Manager during his absence in her job description.
“Like anyone that would be hired as City Manager, Janell will bring a different personality and set of skills, experience and strengths to the position,” Milliman said. “She is very dedicated to the community and to public service, and is a very capable manager.”
In her role as Budget Officer, she is intimately familiar with the City operation. The City’s continued healthy financial condition is attributable in large part to her efforts,” Milliman said. “Along with Public Safety Director Chris Wallace, she has been a key member of the City’s core management team.”
Among Howard’s first challenges will be to address the management needs of the Public Works and Public Safety Departments.
Public Works Director Paul Stevens resigned in December 2017, and the City contracted out a major part of the public works operation…water and wastewater treatment…to a private company in March. Milliman assumed the public works management function while assigning some duties to other staff members.
Public Safety Director Chris Wallace has announced plans to retire in July.
“We considered an open recruitment for the position, but recognized the agony that many communities are experiencing with frequent turnover and in finding quality City Manager candidates,” Pieper said. “We know Janell. She knows the community. There will be no need for a lengthy familiarization period. No need to spend $20-30,000 on a professional headhunter.”
A Brookings Harbor High School Valedictorian and Student Body President, Howard graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an Oregon Municipal Auditor License.
She has been active in a number of finance professional associations, including the Oregon Municipal Finance Officers Association, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Government Finance Officers Association.
Howard is a Brookings native and a mother of four.
“I am really happy to be able to hand this off to someone who has a long history with the community,” Milliman concluded.