Taylor to retire at year's end
It is something of a milestone, as Taylor is only the second city manager in city history. He replaced the legendary Joe Dancer, namesake of Joe Dancer Park.
Taylor, who served previously at manager in the coastal community of Lincoln City, reached his silver anniversary milestone with McMinnville in 2011. In honor of it, the council issued a proclamation declaring July 12 of that year “Kent Taylor Day.”
It was “with much emotion” that he was announcing his pending retirement, Taylor said in a memo delivered to the council during a Saturday goal-setting session. By next December, he noted, “I will have had the privilege of working for the city of McMinnville for close to 29 years, and in Oregon city management for over 42 years.”
He said he looked forward to assisting the city with the transition. “Over the next few months, there will be opportunities to reflect on the past, to celebrate our team successes and to express my heartfelt gratitude,” he said.
The announcement ensured that one of the 2014 goals set by the council Saturday would be to recruit and hire a new city manager.
The council, meeting with its department heads and facilitators for half a day, spent some of that time discussing how to structure the process. Taylor suggested it might want to contract with the League of Oregon Cities for assistance.
Fire Chief Rich Leipfert and Police Chief Ron Noble, both hired within the last few years, felt having multiple interview committees evaluate candidates and submit recommendations was a good way to go. In their cases, they said, it gave the council a fuller picture on which to base its decision.
Taylor has been active on the state level, as well as the city level, serving eight terms on the board of trustees for City County Insurance Services and 40 years with the state chapter of the International City/County Management Association. He also serves on the board of directors for the League of Oregon Cities.
He took the helm in McMinnville in 1986, and is widely credited with providing strong and steady leadership during his tenure.