By editorial board • 

Jeffries: Please stand down; Council: What’s the rush?

Dear Councilor Jeffries:

We really appreciate your eight years of service on the McMinnville City Council.

You’ve spent virtually your entire tenure as its youngest member, so winning appointment to the council presidency, then getting a chance to serve a stint as mayor pro-tem — however brief — is quite an achievement. The Jeffries clan must be proud.

But, please, stand down on this city manager bid. Joe Dancer managed to move from the council to the city manager’s office, but he was a legendary figure in local lore. Besides, the city was a mere budding burg then.

You’re a fine fellow, Kevin, but we just don’t see you following in Joe’s footsteps. This city is at a point where it needs a proven pro at the helm, someone with an established record on a city management track or equivalent experience reporting to a public-sector board.

With all due respect to your teaching and legislative aide work, your council service and your current consumer protection post, the city needs more. After all, retired Brigadier General Martha Meeker was recently found lacking, and by you most of all.

There’s also that appearance thing, given your role in Meeker’s fall from grace.

Even your wife noticed. Remember, you quoted her as saying, “You were a major player in her exit, so it could look like she was pushed out.”

When it comes to public service, there’s not much difference between appearance and reality. As council colleague Remy Drabkin pointed out Tuesday night, public trust erodes either way.

She did you a favor by going public with her concern, Kevin, as it’s well grounded. If a wifely warning doesn’t suffice, perhaps a sisterly warning from a colleague will.
Drabkin also made a solid point when she questioned the council’s haste in trying to install a new manager on board early in the new year. Halloween is upon us, and the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays follow hard on its heels.

Who wants to pursue a major change during the hectic and festive holiday season? No out-of-town star, we fear.

The city is in good hands for the time being with former city attorney Candace Haines. If you have any influence over there, Kevin, and we know you do, please pitch in with Remy to slow things down.

We apparently didn’t get it right last time. For heaven’s sake, let’s get it right this time.

The Editorial Team at the News-Register thanks you for your kind consideration.



I've smelled blatant opportunism since the eval was published. The author of this opinion piece suggested it with much more diplomacy than I would have.


Having viewed the grammar, composition, cross outs, sloppy ill worded evaluations and then the sloppy terminal obvious hatchet job that followed, I'm not sure it wouldn't be better off to wait until an entire new council was installed before even opening it up for applications.


What a hatchet job by all involved in the ham-handed, mean-girl Martha Meeker fiasco. I suspect most members deserve one another; they would, ironically, feel complimented.

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