Beazley to retire as Oregon City Administrator

Kelly J. Kaczala

         Long time Oregon City Administrator Mike Beazley is planning to retire in the next few months.
        He wants to make sure the city has enough time to work through an adequate search and transition process.
        Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian recalled when he hired Beazley 12 years ago.
        “It was my role over 12 years ago to choose a new city administrator, and I reached out to Mike Beazley and knew immediately he was the right choice for Oregon and its future. More than just working together, we formed a friendship and partnership that will continue long after retirement.
        “Together, we’ve worked through the challenges that Oregon has faced and are excited about where Oregon is headed. We do expect to work out an arrangement with Mike in the future for consulting with the city on major plans like our Oregon Town Center to ensure momentum on these important projects.”
Amazing run
        Beazley said at a city council meeting on Monday that he informed all of the department heads and city council of his plans.
        “I’ve had an amazing run here. We’re not saying goodbye today, but it’s time we’re going to start working together on a transition and figuring out something that makes sense for us as we go forward. I’m working toward a life stage where I’m going to work part-time on some things and have more chances to do some things with the grandkids. But I’m not going to disappear. I’m going to keep working on the things that are important to Oregon. If there’s a way for us to do that in a structured way, I’d like to do that. But let’s do what works for Oregon. We have so much going on here. In the next few years, there’s going to be so much happening. It’s going to be exciting to watch it. I do expect to move forward working on making sure we do what we can to bring in federal and state dollars to our region. I’ll have time to do other things.”
        Seferian said he remembers 12 years ago in his living room when he had “coerced” Beazley into taking the administrator job in Oregon.
        “After some discussion, a few days went by. Mr. Beazley said, `I think I’m going to take you up on that offer, and give you five years.’ It ended up being 12. I enjoyed that time. Maybe I could coerce him into another six or seven years. But it’s hard to hold someone back, especially when you have grandkids that you know are growing up pretty fast. I know mine do. Anybody who chooses to spend a little more time with their family - you gotta give them that.”
        Councilwoman Kathy Pollauf said the transition period will be a difficult one. There are some people, she said, who do not realize “all the wonderful things he’s done for this community.”
        “It’s going to be a long hard process to find someone of his caliber to fill his shoes. It’s sad to hear he’s moving on. Twelve years is a long time. But I really do think he’s been an incredible asset to this city,” she said.
        “You’ve been a great mentor,” said Council President Tim Zale. “We’re going to miss you. I know it’s premature. But you’re appreciated.”
        After the meeting, Seferian told The Press that it was “beyond words,” what Beazley has meant to the city.
        “We all learned so much from his knowledge. Each department picked up a lot. Even if there were a few times he didn’t know the answer to something, he would get it. That’s one of the things I learned from him. None of us know the answers to all of the questions, but he already knew how to tap into resources to help us come up with the answers. He was a mentor for me and each of the departmental heads. He made everyone be a better person, better qualified to do their jobs. The city became more stable after he came here,” said Seferian.
        “Also, with the relationship we have, I will still be in contact with him. He may be retiring, but he will still be here. I know he would assist in anything I asked him to do and help move the city forward,” he said.
        Beazley helped put Oregon on the map, he added.
        “The city has always suffered an identity crisis. He was very involved in getting Oregon Clean Energy to come here, a billion dollar buildout of the power plant. People started looking at Oregon differently. From then on, other businesses came here. Then came the ozone treatment of our water. It was the best technology in water treatment that existed out there, and we had that. We got a little more attention being a real player after the Toledo water crisis. Because of Mike’s effort, we were taken more seriously. When we purchased the Kmart property and started what is becoming our town center, Mike had a lot to do with that. It’s going to really develop in the next couple of years. It will be a big plus.” 
Enjoyed the time
        Beazley told The Press on Wednesday that he “really enjoyed my 12 years in Oregon.”
        “I really enjoyed working with the people of Oregon, the businesses, the workforce, our department heads, city council, and the mayor, every year I’ve been here. We worked through challenges together. When we started, we were in the middle of the Great Recession, we came though it strong. We added new industry. We’re at the stage when our town center is about to pop. We improved our parks, we’re building our bike trails, doing things that are really going to help make a community that people will want to continue to be a part of. I’m lucky to have been here. I’ve enjoyed the time,” he said.
        “When I came to Oregon, I had intended to stay about four or five years. We’ve had so many fun challenges and so many important things we worked on together, I ended up staying almost 13 years. I’m reaching the age when I think it’s time for a fresh approach for folks. I’m ready to downsize and move into a consulting role and take a number of clients. Since I turned 68, I think it’s time for that. We haven’t set a specific timeline. We’re going to work through a process to finding a successor and having an appropriate transition,” said Beazley.
        Council President Zale said it will be difficult to replace Beazley.
        “He has done so much for our city. He’s done so many good things. It’s a great loss to us. He’s the smartest guy I ever met. I don’t know how we’re going to replace him.”


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