A Montana woman could soon be moving to Newport to take over the city's operations.
l announced Wednesday, Nov. 9, that Jane Howington was offered the position as the next city manager, which would be effective Jan. 9, 2012, according to a release from Mayor Stephen C. Waluk. She will be the 12th city manager of Newport and is the first woman to assume the role.
Howington currently is the city manager of Kalispell, Montana, where she has worked in that role since 2009. She has also worked as the assistant city manager for operations in Dayton, Ohio, and served as city manager of Oxford, Ohio. Howington also served in municipal positions in three Massachusetts communities.
Kalispell is similar to Newport in that the two cities rely on tourism, Councilor Charles Y. Duncan said. While Newport brings in tourists during the summer, Kalispell has a high winter tourist population.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be offered an opportunity to serve the Newport community,” Howington said, according to the statement.
This past August, the city council began a nationwide search for a replacement for City Manager Edward F. Lavallee, .
The council’s seven-member resume-screening committee reviewed 119 applications for the position. The council interviewed six of the most qualified candidates in October, then offered Howington the position on Oct. 30 after a second round of interviews.
The number of applicants says a good thing about Newport, Waluk said, since he did not know of any other city that saw more than 100 applications for city manager positions. Applicants were not just the unemployed, but many people in other jobs who wanted to relocate to Newport.
“The pool of candidates from around the nation was extremely impressive and included many individuals with strong credentials. However, it was quite clear to the council that Jane Howington, who has worked in municipalities with urban environments, tourist economies and college-town related challenges, possessed a combination of experience, skills, and disposition that made her an outstanding fit for Newport," Waluk said in the release.
Waluk said it was Howington’s experience in several cities and towns that sold her as Newport’s next city manager.
Councilor Naomi Neville said she believes Howington will interarct well with Newport’s community groups.
"We are very pleased to fill this important position with such a highly qualified individual. Jane Howington has 25 years of experience in city management in communities across this country, with a strong emphasis on finance, collective bargaining and planning. She will serve Newport well," Waluk said in the release.
The council will vote on Howington’s employment during its Dec. 14 meeting.