Portland has named three finalists for city manager: the current interim city manager and candidates from California and Ohio.

The finalists are John Curp, of Cincinnati, Alex McIntyre, of San Bruno, California, and Danielle West, Portland’s interim city manager.

The three were chosen from a pool of 77 applicants and will move forward to in-person interviews April 14-15, the city announced Tuesday. The public is invited to meet the finalists at a community reception at City Hall on April 14.

Information about the candidates is still limited – the city released short bios of each finalist but declined to share their full resumes. But according to media reports in California, McIntyre recently resigned from his previous job amid controversy over misspending public money and violating an open meeting law. And Curp was recently passed over for a permanent city manager post and took a $400,000 payout.

“Of the candidates we had available to us, we felt these three candidates would be the best to bring forward as finalists and work through the interview process with them engaging with city staff and the community,” said Mayor Kate Snyder, who chairs the City Council’s City Manager Search Subcommittee.

Snyder declined to discuss the candidates in detail, including West. The other members of the subcommittee – Councilors April Fournier, Mark Dion and Pious Ali – did not respond to requests for interviews Tuesday asking about their thoughts on the finalists and what they want to see in the next city manager.



John Curp Courtesy Malinda Hartong.

Curp has worked as a government executive and economic development lawyer. He was hired in 2008 as the city solicitor in Cincinnati, where he managed 60 employees and oversaw a $6.5 million budget for six years, according to a news release from the city of Portland. He returned to private practice in 2014 and worked on environmental, economic development and public law issues.

Curp holds a bachelor of science in business and finance from Miami University in Ohio and a doctorate of jurisprudence from Indiana University School of Law.

Curp served as interim city manager in Cincinnati, a city of about 300,000, from January to September 2022, but was passed for the permanent position in favor of an assistant city manager, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, which reported that Curp received a $436,000 severance package. He said in an interview Tuesday that he could have stayed on in a different capacity, but wants to continue working as a city manager.

“Thankfully Portland has decided to take a closer look at me, and I’m grateful,” said Curp, who is back at a private law practice. He said some of the issues he has worked on over the years are the same issues important to the city of Portland.

“I’m looking to deal with these issues – urban issues – especially around affordable housing, social and economic justice, public safety and environmental sustainability in a way that’s socially just,” Curp said, adding that it’s part of what draws him to the city. “Those are all the same issues Portland has. A community in a region of 500,000 has the same issues as a region of 2.5 million and the ability to work on them is what drives me to continue to pursue a career as a city manager.”



Alex McIntyre Courtesy city of Portland

McIntyre is the interim city manager in San Bruno, a city of about 44,000 just south of San Francisco, and previously served as city manager in the coastal community of Ventura for four years, according to the city of Portland.

He also served as city manager of Menlo Park, California, from 2012 to 2018 and as city manager of Lake Oswego, Oregon, from 2008 to 2012.

He has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Irvine.

A message left for McIntyre with the city of San Bruno was not returned Tuesday, and other attempts to reach him were not successful. The Ventura County Star reported that McIntyre was hired on March 28 and is not expected to start the job until April 15.

The newspaper reported that he resigned from his job in Ventura after controversies involving credit card use and a state open meeting law violation, but was unanimously approved as interim manager by the council in San Bruno.


In response to questions about McIntyre’s tenure in Ventura and the circumstances surrounding his resignation, a Ventura spokesperson shared a December news release in which the city announced approval of a settlement agreement in which McIntyre agreed to resign and the city paid him $150,000 to waive any claims. McIntyre had been on paid administrative leave for about a month at the time the settlement was announced.

Some members of the Ventura City Council took a work trip to Washington, D.C., last year and violated the state’s open meeting law by failing to properly notice the trip and publish an agenda, and McIntyre also used a state-issued credit card to pay for dinner and wine for eight people during a business trip, the California newspaper reported. He later apologized in both cases and reimbursed the city for wine and an “excessive tip” from the dinner.

Snyder declined to comment Tuesday when asked if McIntyre’s resignation came up during the search process and said she has yet to talk with or meet either Curp or McIntyre.


Danielle West Courtesy city of Portland

Snyder also said that she hasn’t spoken with West about her application. “I feel like we have to treat Danielle like every other candidate, so I have not been discussing the search process or her candidacy with her,” the mayor said.

West has served as interim city manager since November 2021, when former City Manager Jon Jennings left for a similar job in Clearwater, Florida. She has worked for the city for 15 years and previously served as corporation counsel. She has also worked as a private attorney.


West holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Oswego State University in New York and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maine School of Law.

“I’ve worked extremely hard with staff to try and move the city forward and address all the various issues confronting us,” West said Tuesday. “I’ve really enjoyed that. The staff are amazing and they do amazing things every day. Working with them in this capacity has been wonderful, and I want to continue that work and continue serving the city I’ve lived in over half my life.”

West took over during a difficult time that included the COVID-19 pandemic and an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers to the city.

She pointed to the hiring of the city’s first director of justice, diversity, equity and inclusion as one of the successes of her tenure, and said she wants to continue working with the council to meet its goal of looking at everything through a racial equity lens.

West also hopes to focus on housing, homelessness, staffing levels and crafting a city budget that reflects both council priorities and the funding capacity of taxpayers.

For at least the last year the city has faced significant staffing shortages, and West is hopeful that having a permanent manager will help create more stability in the city’s workforce.


“Hopefully from there it’s a domino effect where we can focus on hiring at other levels of city government and people will be encouraged and want to come work here,” she said.


The city manager is responsible for running day-to-day operations, managing over 1,200 employees, and preparing and administering the annual budget.

West earns a salary of $186,511 while the city advertised the position with a range of $190,000 to $225,000.

Snyder echoed West in calling for more stability at City Hall, and said it is something she is hoping the next city manager can address.

The city manager search was on hold for months as the city considered a proposal from the Charter Commission that would have drastically changed the jobs of city manager and mayor.


After voters rejected that proposal in November, the City Council’s city manager search subcommittee picked up the search again with the help of search firm Baker Tilly.

“There are a lot of vacancies and I think the lack of stability with Jon Jennings’ departure and the uncertainty around the voters’ will with regards to what the Charter Commission would be bringing forward has been really hard for staff,” Snyder said.

Snyder said homelessness, housing and the city’s response to the ongoing influx of asylum seekers are also issues she is hoping to see the next city manager tackle. “I think there’s going to be a lot of work to do,” she said.

The mayor encouraged people to come to the community forum, which she said will include an opportunity for feedback to be provided on each of the candidates. She said the council hopes to have action on an appointment at one of their two May meetings. “Anything can happen, but that’s our goal,” she said.

This story has been corrected to reflect that John Curp was passed for the permanent city manager position in Cincinnati in favor of an assistant city manager. 

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