|Jordan Wheeler starts as Sandy’s new City Manager posted on 01/01/2019|
Jordan Wheeler heard a lot about the City of Sandy since
2013, when former Sandy City Manager Scott Lazenby took the same job for the
City of Lake Oswego, where Wheeler has worked as the Deputy City Manager for
the past 10 years.
This month, Wheeler took over Lazenby’s old job in Sandy,
ascending to the City Manager position following the retirement of Kim
“I feel like I’ve heard so many stories and so many good
things about Sandy,” Wheeler said, noting Lazenby encouraged him to apply for
Wheeler was one of three candidates interviewed by the Sandy
City Council during the search for Yamashita’s successor. Yamashita noted that
Wheeler’s experience and personality made him stand out above the others.
“The way he presented himself to the council was open (and)
above board,” she said, adding that he has experience working with the various
“players” in Clackamas County. “(He) seemed like a good fit.”
Wheeler noted that the City of Sandy’s reputation as being
innovative and having a “pioneer spirit,” including with SandyNet (the city’s
internet service provider) and transit, attracted him to the job. He added the
combination of the city’s size, setting, location in relationship to the Metro
area and access to nature and amenities were also draws.
“I can see why people want to move there and live there,”
said Wheeler, who earned a graduate degree in Public Administration from
Portland State University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from
University of Washington.
Wheeler noted the challenges he faces in his new job include
the funding for the city’s community campus and wastewater issues, while also
tackling traffic problems. But he said he looks forward to working on master
plans and with the community to help shape the city’s future.
He added that he sees opportunities to grow tourism, develop
the downtown to serve both the tourists and city’s residents, and also managing
Sandy’s growth without putting too much of a burden on infrastructure.
Lazenby sees Wheeler as an excellent fit for the job, noting
that Wheeler has been “in the middle” of some of the tough issues with Lake
Oswego. Lazenby went through a similar transition when he arrived in Sandy in
1992 from a larger city in Arizona and thinks that it will be a smooth
changeover for Wheeler.
“The budget’s smaller, but the same issues we face in cities
are pretty much the same everywhere,” Lazenby said.
Yamashita, whose final day on the job was Dec. 31, helmed
the city since January 2017 after serving as its police chief for the seven
years prior, and noted the city’s advancements in technology and improving the
collaboration amongst department heads as highlights of her tenure.
“I think we forged a really good team and all our oars are
in the water moving in the right direction together,” she said.
Before fully retiring, Yamashita will serve as the Interim
Police Chief of the City of Gladstone until approximately next June, with an
eye on moving to Idaho after.
For more information about the City of Sandy, visit www.ci.sandy.or.us.
By Garth Guibord/MT