Hales Fills About Half of His Staff

Portland Mercury:

No one's going to notice this because it's after 5 o'clock on the Friday before Christmas weekend, and the Bulleit fifth and bottle of ginger ale have come out at the office, but it's worth pointing out that Mayor-elect Charlie Hales this afternoon officially announced a handful of high-profile staff picks. Two staffers, Grace Uwagbae and Cevero Gonzalez, are holdovers from Mayor Sam Adams' team, keeping jobs that focused on logistics and outreach, not policy. Another, Ed McNamara, is a prominent developer of affordable housing in Portland, in places like the Pearl and, if it worked out, Lents—meaning Hales, after facing skepticism about his close ties to developers during his campaign, wasn't afraid to pick one to serve as policy director. Hales' other choice for policy director, attorney Josh Alpert, also is a familiar face for Hales: Alpert worked for Hales in city hall when Hales was a city commissioner. Alpert ran to replace Hales in 2002 after Hales quit council to work in the private sector but fell far behind in a primary won by Commissioner Randy Leonard. Alpert served as a surrogate for Hales on environmental issues during this year's campaign. The last pick announced is Hales' spokesman, former journalist Dana Haynes, who worked most recently for Portland Community College and has become an author of some note. Read the note sent by Hales' chief of staff, Gail Shibley, below the cut. Mayor-Elect Charlie Hales has begun the process of filling out his staff for the coming year, according to Chief of Staff Gail Shibley. Hales is expected to field a staff of approximately 12 people by the time his term begins in January. Joining the mayor elect's staff are: 1. Grace Uwagbae, constituent relations manager. Uwagbae is a native Oregonian, graduating from Grant High School and Lewis & Clark College where she received a degree in Political Science in 2007. Her work provides the essential link to ensure City Hall is accessible and responsive to all Portlanders, her professional focus and personal passion. 2. Ed McNamara, policy director. McNamara has more than 35 years of experience in construction and in private sector and non-profit real estate development. His company, Turtle Island Development LLC, focuses on affordable rental housing that is energy-efficient and transit-oriented. He previously served as executive director for REACH Community Development Inc., a local nonprofit. 3. Joshua Alpert, policy director. Alpert is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Lewis & Clark School of Law. He most recently was the Northwest Conservation Strategies Director with The Trust for Public Land. There, he led successful ballot initiatives to protect lands in several western states including Oregon. 4. Cevero Gonzalez, executive assistant to the mayor. Gonzalez joined the City of Portland in 2006 and has worked for the Portland Bureau of Transportation before joining Mayor Adams staff, where he currently serves as his executive assistant. He is a Pacific Lutheran University graduate and a Pacific Northwest native. 5. Dana Haynes, communications director. Haynes is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College. He spent 20 years in Oregon newspaper newsrooms—10 years at weeklies and 10 at dailies—serving as a reporter, columnist and editor. He spent four years as Public Affairs Manager for Portland Community College. He also is the author of five published mystery/thriller novels, with two more set for release in 2013-14. [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

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