Albany will soon have a new city manager following the City Council’s decision to offer the job to Peter Troedsson earlier this week. Peter is currently the Deputy City Manager of Bothell, Washington; but most of his professional experience was earned as a career Coast Guard officer. I can testify from my own knowledge of the military that the demands of commanding a base or a ship are not unlike managing a city. Fortunately, no one ever asked me to pilot a helicopter.

Details like when Peter will start remain to be settled, but I’m confident an agreement will be concluded quickly; and he will be able to start here before I leave. I believe the City will benefit from Peter’s experience, personality, and energy as he starts the new job. We have a number of mutual friends who have confirmed my opinion that we are fortunate to have Peter as our new city manager.

All good managers recognize their dependence on fellow employees to accomplish anything in a city of our size. Peter is fortunate to be joining an organization with outstanding people who welcome challenges. Like every city, we have no shortage of problems to be solved and opportunities to be explored. Current projects such as major software conversions, new police and fire facilities, downtown renovation, and the carousel were all partnerships that required contributions from many sources. Addressing homelessness, improving streets, and resolving wastewater treatment issues while delivering high-quality services every day remain as challenges for the immediate future.

Before interviewing with the City Council, Peter called me and asked what I thought the greatest challenge facing the new city manager would be. I think I answered (it was a couple of months ago) that replacing the many senior employees who either have or will be retired may be the hardest thing he will have to do. We are losing literally hundreds of years of experience in key positions before long. These changes also represent a chance for Peter to look at new ways to organize and add fresh perspective to the City.

We have a number of new employees joining the City staff, and I think that number will grow in the near future. I like to think the city manager is an important part of the organization, but I also believe every person we hire will make a big difference in the quality of services we provide to the people who pay our salaries. I know Peter will be someone who provides the leadership all employees will need to be successful in their jobs. I’m equally confident Peter will receive the support he needs to effectively manage the organization.