Surprise resignation means Vale city officials are back to recruiting

With former manager Alan Daniels’ resignation, the city of Vale is once again seeking resumes in an attempt to hire a new manager. (Enterprise file photo)

VALE – Vale city officials are back where they were last year—looking for a new city manager.

Embattled City Manager Alan Daniels resigned late last Thursday after a three-hour closed session of the Vale City Council. The council was scheduled to discuss the sudden vacancy on Tuesday, too late for press time.

Daniels submitted a one-sentence resignation letter stating, “Effective immediately I resign as city manager of Vale.”

The letter referred to “attachments” but Vale Mayor Mike McLaughlin said no attachments were provided to him.

“I have no comment,” McLaughlin said when questioned last week about the resignation or the attachments.

Daniels had only been on the job since Jan. 8 following the retirement of former manager Lynn Findley. Daniels had previously been the Ontario airport manager and worked for the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Thursday night’s executive session was called after concerns over the resignation of a city public works employee, an advertisement to replace the employee carrying a salary about $10,000 above the current job and concerns by some over Daniels’ contacting a private company to oversee Vale’s new water system.

The five city councilmen were asked via email from the Malheur Enterprise about circumstances of the resignation and what the city would do going forward.

None responded by Tuesday.

In an interview Monday, Daniels said he had “no hard feelings or regrets…The council has the right to whoever they want in the job and I would not have done anything differently.”

Daniels, who declined to discuss his reasons for resigning, has deep roots in Vale.

He attended grade school in Vale during the time his father had a physician’s office above Kessler Chevrolet.

Daniels has a background in the military and law enforcement before returning to the area working at Ore-Ida and Ready-Mix Concrete in Ontario. He also owned and operated his own electronics shop and was manager of the Ontario airport for five years. Prior to accepting the Vale position, Daniels had been retired for two years.

Daniels said he is retired again, but keeping his options open. He said he agreed when he took the city job to work without a contract. He said he didn’t ask for severance as part of his resignation.

“There are a lot of great people in Vale and the city has some excellent people working for them,” Daniels said. “I was treated wonderfully by almost everyone there.”

John L. Braese: [email protected], 541-473-3377.