Vale gets new city manager

Katy Lamb was selected by the Vale City Council to be the new city manager. Lamb has been the city’s bookkeeper since 2014. (The Enterprise/John L. Braese).

VALE – Although the Vale City Council unanimously voted to hire Katy Lamb as the new Vale city manager, she won’t move into her new office for a bit.

“I am right in the middle of budget season and don’t want to move my piles,” Lamb said.

The city’s bookkeeper since 2014, Lamb is now performing both jobs while catching up with her new duties. She hopes to scale back to one job after hiring a new bookkeeper in the next month.

“I am a believer it takes about one year to fully learn a job, so I have quite a bit of work to do,” she said.

The council hired her at its meeting Tuesday, May 8. Lamb was chosen from among nine candidates. Her salary has yet to be determined.

Lamb is no stranger to Vale.

Raised in Elko, Nevada, Lamb arrived in Vale after marrying Scott Lamb 40 years ago. The couple raised five boys in Vale.

All but one has moved away from their hometown.

Lamb worked for Nichols Accounting Groups before accepting a job with the city.

“I just wanted something closer to home,” said Lamb about the move from the private to the public sector.

Lamb will be the third city manager in six months. After former manager Lynn Findley retired in January, the city hired Alan Daniels to oversee the operation.

Daniels resigned under pressure in March and Lamb was named interim.

Sitting at her desk, surrounded by budget material, Lamb said her goals are to complete projects already in process.

“I want ensure the water project is completed,” she said. “The new water system is on budget and on track and will be a tremendous asset to the community.”

 Lamb is also planning for a 2019 project, one that is already funded.

“We have the grant for the Safe Route to Schools and that is slated in 2019,” she said. “That will allow safe walking routes for the school for the kids.

The work will provide sidewalks for safe paths to the elementary school.

Lamb said the opening of the swimming pool in May is important for the community and a priority for her.

“To have a swimming pool in Vale is a great asset,” Lamb said. “The city will continue to support the pool.”

One item Lamb is looking at is the current contract with the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office to provide law enforcement services within the city limits.

Currently, the city pays the county $300,000.

“I think we have a good contract in place with the sheriff’s office, but one that could be improved upon,” she said.

Lamb said she wants more law enforcement coverage for the city with residents seeing police visibility on the streets.

One worry for the city council has been fixed with the hiring of Lamb.

Many city managers use small towns as a steppingstone to larger municipalities. Lamb has no plans on leaving her town.

“I am here until I retire,” she said.

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