Brant Kucera hired as new city manager

Brant Kucera, who will be the new city manager of Cannon Beach, introduces himself to the community at the Surfsand Resort ballroom during a recent meet-and-greet. Kucera, 43, was borough manager of the Borough of Kennett Square, Pa.

Brant Kucera, 43, of Pennsylvania, will be Cannon Beach’s new city manager.

The borough manager of the Borough of Kennett Square, Pa., Kucera will begin work in Cannon Beach no later than Nov. 15.

Kucera, who accepted the job Sept. 10, plans to leave his East Coast post Oct. 31 and arrive in town before Interim City Manager Jennie Messmer’s contract with the city expires. Messmer said there may be a few days when she can introduce Kucera to some of the projects the city is working on.

Kucera’s contract, including his salary, moving expenses and vacations days, will be formally approved by the City Council and made public during the council’s Oct. 7 meeting.

The previous city manager, Rich Mays, held the position for more than eight years before retiring in July.

A University of Idaho graduate with a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Michigan University, Kucera was chosen over three other candidates from a pool of 47 applicants. The nationwide recruitment effort was led by the League of Oregon Cities.

An exhaustive interview process earlier this month gave Kucera an idea of what his priorities, not just as a new city manager but as a new citizen of Cannon Beach, will be.

“There’s definitely some priorities that stand out,” he said. “Tsunami preparedness is one I want to get my hands around as quickly as possible, because it’s a very big concern for the community, in how it relates to the city itself but also the infrastructure: how the city remains operational through an event like that.”

As soon as possible, he plans to familiarize himself with the city’s committees and advisory boards, “to find out what they and the council see as the important things for the manager to be working on.”

Over the past 13 years, Kucera has worked in municipal governments in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Idaho. He has managed Pennsylvania’s Borough of Kennett Square since 2008.

At a Sept. 4 meet-and-greet at the Surfsand Resort with the other finalists, community members and local officials, Kucera said that he has envisioned himself settling down on the Oregon Coast for quite some time.

He said that Cannon Beach’s City Council is “very forward-thinking, whether it’s addressing a potential tsunami or earthquake and the results of something like that.”

That the city and its residents have resolutely kept big-box stores and other large corporate retailers out of Cannon Beach “really makes it a unique community.” Kucera said.

“That’s what people look for today, because you can’t find that everywhere,” he said. “When you look at the independent businesses that you have in the downtown, typically those people have a very vested interest in the community, and so they make the investment back into the community ... Everybody’s boats rise together.”

He added that he’s looking forward to a new challenge.

“I’m absolutely floored and humbled and just honored that Cannon Beach decided to offer the position to me, and I really couldn’t be happier,” he said.

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