Nikki Messenger

Nicki Messenger

After multiple attempts to hire a candidate, the Roseburg City Council has decided who will become the next city manager.

Councilors voted unanimously on Monday to give the position to Public Works Director Nikki Messenger, who has been serving as interim city manager since the end of April.

City Councilor Andrea Zielinski was not present due to illness, and City Councilor Ashley Hicks was not present for the motion but arrived at the meeting shortly after.

The City Council held an executive session to discuss the city manager position last week. At Monday’s meeting, the motion proceeded without discussion. An audience member started to clap for the highly consequential decision — city managers oversee all city staff — and after a slow start, the whole room joined in.

Messenger grew up in Richland, Washington, but both of her parents graduated from Roseburg High School before they moved north. She graduated from Washington State University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1993. She earned her professional engineering license in 2009.

She is the most senior department director, starting at the city in 1995 as an engineering technician. She rose through the ranks of the Public Works Department early in her career. She spent a couple of years away from the city working for Roseburg-based MAP Engineering Inc. and for Douglas County Public Works. She returned in 2006 and was promoted to public works director in 2008.

Messenger will take over directing all city departments as the city works on several significant projects.

The city’s 30-year urban renewal district is set to expire this year. The new Diamond Lake Urban Renewal Plan will take effect thereafter. Tax revenues collected in the area from property value increases will go into the new urban renewal district’s account for a variety of economic development projects.

The city also continues to work with Oregonians for Rural Health and other project partners to help bring an allied and mental health college to the city. The role city staff will play in establishing the college isn’t known because the project hasn’t yet received full funding.

When Messenger officially takes her position, the city will likely hold goal-setting meetings. The city continues to face challenges with making adequate housing available and addressing the region’s issues with homelessness.

Messenger, who currently lives outside of Roseburg city limits, will also need to establish residence in the city, according to city code.

The City Council will determine how quickly Messenger needs to move.

She will also need to hire a replacement to direct the city’s Public Works Department.

News-Review reporter Max Egener can be reached at megener@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4217. Or follow him on Twitter @maxegener.

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City Reporter

Max Egener is the city reporter for The News-Review. He has a master's degree from the University of Oregon, and is an avid skier and backpacker.

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