All Politics is Local

City Manager opts for appointment process to fill CFO job

Last week the city of Vancouver announced Natasha Ramras would fill the chief financial officer role permanently. Ramras has been serving as interim since October when then-CFO Lloyd Tyler died unexpectedly.

Ramras’ selection was not a surprise. She’s worked for the city for a cumulative 12 years, most recently as deputy finance director of budget, performance and audit. The role is second in command in the finance department, according to Interim Human Resources Director Julie Hannon. When Ramras returned to the city in 2013 after a year working for OHSU, Hannon said Ramras’ eventual ascent to CFO was discussed.

What was unusual about the announcement was that the city didn’t make clear the process used to hire Ramras or provide her salary information. As a public employee, such tidbits of information are fairly standard.

When Ramras was appointed as interim, City Manager Eric Holmes said he hadn’t decided what recruitment process would be utilized and would consider his options. He chose a simple appointment, Hannon said this week.

Holmes said because the loss of Tyler was so sudden, he wanted to take time to allow for grieving and “be thoughtful about the appointment outside the loss of Lloyd,” he said.

Holmes said thinking about his confidence in Ramras and her experience, he decided he didn’t need to recruit outside the city.

“The CFO position is a pretty unique one and that confidence piece is very, very important,” Holmes said. “Natasha has shown over the last dozen years that she has that confidence.”

Ramras will also earn $12,629 a month. At the time of Tyler’s death, he earned $13,150 a month.

Also as part of her new role, Ramras will have to move to Vancouver within six months. She currently lives in Portland. Her husband Christohoper Ramras was appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to serve as a judge for Multnomah County Circuit Court last year.

The judge position also comes with residency requirements. Judges are required to live within their district unless the district has a population of 500,000 or more. In that case, as is the case for Multnomah County, a judge must live within 10 miles of the district’s boundary.

Katy Sword

I cover the city of Vancouver and federal politics. Reach me at katy.sword@columbian.com.

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