Know Your Government: What Does a City Manager do?

Beaverton voters approved a new city charter in the May 2020 election that changed the city’s form of government from a strong mayor to a council manager structure. The Beaverton Charter of 2021 became operational on Jan. 1. The office of city manager is the administrative head of the city government. The city manager is responsible to the City Council for the proper administration of all city business. The city manager is the administrative head of the city who:  

■ Oversees daily operations and delivery of city services; 

■ Proposes and administers the city budget;  

■ Appoints, supervises, and removes city staff;  

■ Makes reports and recommendations to the council about the needs of the city; 

■ Has no authority over the mayor, councilors, support staff of mayor or council, city attorney, municipal judges, or city auditor.  

The city appointed Kurt Wilson interim city manager as of Jan. 1. Wilson will serve in this role for approximately six months. 

The interim city manager supports the transition to the new city charter and the recruitment, selection and early onboarding of a long-term city manager. The search (talent acquisition) process for the position, which follows appointment of an interim city manager late last year, was discussed during the Jan. 19 City Council meeting. A recording of the meeting is available for viewing at The discussion featured conversation on the upcoming search process, hiring of an external search firm for facilitation support, staff and public engagement, opportunities for feedback, and timelines. 

Initial plans call for the competitive process to begin in March in conjunction with outreach. Next steps include development of a candidate profile and a refocus on key competencies, skills and leadership abilities of the ideal candidate. 

A community survey and a number of tactics to help keep residents informed are in development. A virtual public social hour to meet future candidates, similar to the event that occurred during the interim city manager search process, will be planned for late spring. 

A decision by City Council is expected to be announced in early summer, followed by onboarding of the incumbent. 

Stay informed on the talent acquisition process and learn more about upcoming opportunities for involvement at