A new Hermiston assistant city manager will start July 16.

City Manager Ed Brookshier announced at Monday night’s City Council meeting he has hired Mark Morgan, 24, of Spokane, Wash., for the $73,512 per-year position.

Morgan will take the lead in economic development, public information services, advisory committee support, human resources management and assigned research.

“The city was fortunate to have an excellent group of final candidates for consideration,” Brookshier said. “All four finalists possessed exceptional qualities.”

The native of southwest Idaho was chosen from a group of four finalists, which included Stanfield City Manager Scott Pingel. The four toured city departments last Thursday and interviewed with Brookshier and city councilors on Friday.

The initial search netted more than 115 applicants, who fielded essay questions, preliminary reference checks, interviews with Brookshier and council members, and further reference, background and credit checks.

Morgan recently received his master’s in public administration from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash. He served as an intern assistant to the city administrator of Cheney and also worked as an administrative intern for the City of Pullman, Wash.

Morgan also has experience in public affairs journalism as a reporter for Inland Broadcasting Company.

In a phone interview, Morgan said he was very impressed by Hermiston’s growth during his visit to the area last week.  

“Seeing all of that development got me really excited,” he said.

Morgan will fill a vacancy left by former assistant city manager Ray Jones, who retired earlier this year.

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