New city manager likes what he sees

INDEPENDENCE -- David Clyne was given a whirlwind tour of Independence's facilities on June 16 along with other candidates for the city manager position.

INDEPENDENCE -- David Clyne was given a whirlwind tour of Independence's facilities on June 16 along with other candidates for the city manager position.

He followed that up the next day with a marathon interview session before technical panels that lasted nearly four hours.

So exhausted was he at the conclusion, "by that time, I had forgotten to eat all the energy bars I had brought along."

But the fatigue was worth it, said Clyne, who was named by the City Council on June 22 as Independence's new city manager.

Clyne said he has been monitoring the community's progress after a visit a few years ago, and through discussions among municipal leaders.

"Independence has always been thought of as well-run, proactive and willing to take a chance on the right things," Clyne said. "In the back of my mind, I thought it would be a wonderful place to work. I saw the opportunity and jumped in."

Clyne was raised in the San Francisco area during the 1960s and 70s, "which made it hard not to end up politically minded," he said.

He earned a bachelor's degree in political science at UCLA, and later a master's degree in public administration at Cal State-Long Beach.

Most of Clyne's nearly 30 years in municipal government has been spent in Colorado.

Between 1980 and 2002, he worked in city management for five cities. All of those towns had populations of less than 10,000 -- a characteristic he purposely sought out, said Clyne, who also has a law degree from the University of Denver.

"You can make a difference as a city manager, particularly in the small communities," he said. "In a small community, you team up with council and staff and can see the outcome of your work, without all the bureaucracy."

Clyne relocated to Oregon in 2002, and worked for the city of Brownsville for two years, followed by a six-year stint as Junction City's head administrator.

Clyne said he was proudest of his accomplishments in the latter town. In 2007, Junction City and other entities successfully lobbied to become the home of a forthcoming state mental health hospital and corrections complex.

The move has resulted in Oregon allocating millions of dollars for construction, infrastructure and sewer and water improvements. When fully occupied, it is expected both will bring a combined 2,000 new jobs to that area.

Clyne said it's too early for a grand vision for Independence, beyond finishing things such as the civic center and North Riverfront Ballfield project.

"I will help do what I can to address the vacant storefronts downtown," he said.

Clyne, 58, lives with his wife, Peggy. He enjoys backpacking, hiking, skiing and gardening.

Log in to comment

News from the Itemizer-Observer and our community partners