Comments by Elected Officials About David Frasher

What Elected Officials Have To Say

~ Doug Neeley, Former Commissioner & Mayor of Oregon City

I have had the honor of being elected to serve on Oregon City Commission for a total of four four-year terms, the last as Mayor with my term competed at the end of 2014. Over those sixteen years Ihave worked with five city managers. When the City Manager position became open nearly six years ago, David was one of several applicants. At that time, there was a divided City Commission. He was one of the top two choices of every member of the Commission, and when the vote was taken to make him City Manager, the vote was unanimous.

David always sought to find a common ground among the Commission members and, during my tenure as Mayor, he was admired by all Commission members as well as his executive staff for creating a dialogue among us all, enabling us to establish attainable goals. I believe that he was a more effective staff team leader then any of his predecessors that I worked with.

He established consistent fees among the various utilities using the City's right-of-way. When legally challenged by our county's board of Commissioners for charging fees for utilities they owned and operated within our right-of-way, David brought together a legal team that successfully argued the case in the city's favor.

Within my first two months serving as Mayor, the second largest private employer in Oregon City, Blue Heron Paper Mill, filed for Chapter 11Bankruptcy protection. The Mill's closure resulted in hundreds of employees losing their jobs, health insurance, and pensions and turned a twenty-three acre site that was the City's major employment center for 180 years into a brown field almost overnight . David was able to develop a formal partnership with the state, the county, and the Metro Regional Government of the greater Portland area. A vision document and a master plan were developed with public input for that site; and based on that plan, David was able to secure $20 million for the planning of public access to Willamette Falls, which is the second largest water fall by flow volume in North America ,and which directly or indirectly produced electricity for that site. It is estimated that well over one-hundred thousand visitors per year will visit the falls once the public access is in place, a level of tourism that will trigger the redevelopment of the site and the area around it.

In addition, David created the position of economic development manager and hired a professional who has been able to coordinate efforts of private business owners, the Oregon City Urban Renewal District's Commission, and the state to continue the successful revitalization of Main Street and to spur development of industrially and mixed-use-zoned lands in the City.

Under his leadership, the City procured land for a future City Hall, Police Station, and Municipal Court. The City also passed a bond for an expansion of our library that will triple the current floor space. The site choice and design was based on a major public-input process involving library users from inside and outside the City's boundaries, and the construction began within a year of the bond's passage.

David's door was always open the public, and he listened to people. He assembled an outstanding team of staff, was an extremely capable leader, and helped build Oregon City build consensus during a difficult period. For these reasons and others, I highly recommend David to any community seeking an exceptionally talented City Manager.

~ Rocky Smith, Oregon City Commissioner, March 2015

David has been a terrific asset to the City of Oregon City. He has worked hard to build a strong team with the staff and Commission. He has worked hard to develop strong relationships with his staff, department heads and the entire City Commission. David’s choices in hiring department heads and staff have made the City of Oregon City stronger and more transparent. Communications between departments continues to be improved. Strides this past year in terms of addressing facility needs and the acquisition of land for further growth of the city was a major accomplishment. Strides that have been made on the Willamette Falls Legacy Project are unbelievable and could not have been done without the strong team that has been built under the City Manager.

I want to also mention that David’s responsiveness to the commission is almost immediate. David is easily reachable on duty or off and often follows up with commissioners with a call or message following commission meetings instead of driving home and going to sleep. This extra effort and concern for topics covered in these various meetings are extremely appreciated and the ability to debrief following some of our evenings is much needed.

~ Daphne Wuest, Oregon City Commissioner, March 2015

Daphne's version of David's top ten accomplishments:

  • ROW management program/design/implementation and hiring a ROW manager
  • Assembling a high caliber team at the executive staff level: Finance, Police Chief, Economic Development Director - these are the people new to me - Tony, John Lewis, Scott Archer are all exceptional.
  • Solid leadership on all aspects of the Legacy Project
  • Moving towards a consultant to develop a master plan for all city facilities
  • Negotiating the purchase of Mt. Pleasant school property & other negotiations with OCSD over Barclay School
  • Successful Strategy developed to pass Library bond
  • Integration and cross training between departments to develop ease and better service for customers - "developer forums"
  • Supporting Main street program through its management and board leadership changes
  • Excellent writer and excellent oral skills!
~ Carol Pauli, Oregon City Commissioner, March 2015

While there will always be challenges in Oregon City, the stability, consistency and leadership that you provide with a partnership with staff and commission is allowing our city to achieve great things and take on more responsibility than anyone could of ever imagined.

I enjoy working with you and look forward to many more years. And yes, more jobs and better transportation for our city (my mantra). We are getting there.

City Manager David Frasher - Grants Pass City Manager - photo taken by Lucas Balzer