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City of Newport closing in on replacement for long-time city manager

An image of the entrance of the city of Newport. Newport residents will have a chance to weigh in on a higher, year-round fuel tax during a May special election.
Thomas Hawk
An image of the entrance of the city of Newport. The City Council will soon interview, and choose a new city manager.

The city of Newport is searching for a new city manager to replace outgoing leader Spencer Nebel.

In January, Nebel informed city officials and the public he planned to retire sometime between July and October.

Nebel has led day-to-day operations at the city since 2013. He previously worked as a city manager of a community in upper Michigan. He has led the city through staffing and budget challenges as it struggles to retain, and recruit employees amidst high housing costs.

Newport leaders have said they are sad to see Nebel go. During his annual review in January, Newport city councilor Dietmar Goebel as well as other city leaders thanked him for his service.

“We’re really going to miss you Spencer, really sincerely from all of us,” he said. “We’re not looking forward to your retirement and hopefully the search for a new city manager will be fruitful.”

Newport has a contract with a recruitment firm to find Nebel’s replacement. The City Council plans to meet Monday to review applications and hopes to interview and choose a candidate in mid-April.

Rebecca Hansen-White joined the KLCC News Department in November, 2023. Her journalism career has included stops at Spokane Public Radio, The Spokesman-Review, and The Columbia Basin Herald.