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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parks Bureau Plucks Mayor Sam Adams' Top Aide

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Jimenez
  • Jimenez
Down to his final 10 months or so in office, Mayor Sam Adams will soon be on his third chief of staff in four years. A few minutes after the Parks Bureau announced its new assistant director, current top Adams aide Warren Jimenez, Adams' office sent out word that current deputy chief Jennifer Yocom will be getting a promotion.

Jimenez—well-regarded in city hall and a longtime point person on public safety issues—had been Adams' chief of staff only since January 2011. He took over for Tom Miller, who'd been with Adams since his days as a young, vigorous city commissioner, after Miller went on to run the Bureau of Transportation.

Nick Fish, who oversees parks, says luring Jimenez to his bureau was a "coup," and that he expects Jimenez to handle a lot of the day-to-day management in parks while also leveraging his "tremendous" connections in the city to figure out how the bureau can better work with "under-served communities."

"He impressed everybody in this building," Fish says. "No one has ever said a negative word about him, and it's because he's straight shooter, he's conscientious, he's very effective, he's discrete."

Now it's Yocom's turn to run Adams' office. Yocom, a former Bus Project director) and Adams' mayoral campaign manager, also has a long history with the city. Lately, she's been massaging Adams' work on the painful city budget and helping (with Ruiz and others) to coordinate Adams' response to Occupy Portland. When Jimenez got bumped up from deputy chief, Yocom had been serving as Adams' arts and culture policy director.

Yocom
  • Yocom
The new deputy chief? That'll be Adams' communications director, Amy Ruiz (a former Mercury news editor). Ruiz, a land-use and sustainability policy adviser who also impressed a lot of political observers, got her soon-to-be-old gig after Adams' former spokesman Roy Kaufmann left last March. (And Kaufmann wasn't even Adams' first spokesman.)

Okay. Got all that? Good. Let's keep going.

Hand-offs on the various jobs in the mayor's office are expected next month. No one has been announced as the new communications director—but it's tough to imagine who might come aboard from outside the office with a whole new regime coming in next January. Caryn Brooks, who worked at WW and Time, is Adams' culture and communications policy adviser and did some media work while Ruiz was on maternity leave last year.

Statements from Parks and the mayor's office are after the cut.

From the Parks Bureau:

Portland Parks & Recreation today announced the appointment of Warren Jimenez as the Assistant Director of Portland Parks & Recreation.

For nearly six years in City Hall, most recently as Mayor Sam Adams’ Chief of Staff, Jimenez has demonstrated leadership and commitment in his public service.

“As I looked for a person who was familiar with all aspects of City government, understood the role of Portland Parks & Recreation in the community, could manage complex organizational initiatives and was respected by a diverse cross-section of community partners, Warren’s name kept coming up,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. “I reached out to Warren and was delighted that he has agreed to join my leadership team.”

Jimenez brings a proven record for developing collaborative partnerships and strategic solutions. His extensive network of relationships in the community will help PP&R continue to provide “Gold Medal” services and programs Portland has come to expect.

“Portland Parks and Recreation is fortunate to have Warren join their leadership team,” Mayor Sam Adams said. “In his years working for me, Warren has consistently demonstrated his dedication to the community, a keen focus on delivering effective and efficient city services, and a passion for ensuring equity. He will be deeply missed by me and my team, but this is great news for Portland, and we wish him all the best on this exciting new opportunity.”

Jimenez will assume his new duties on April 2, 2012.

From Adams' office:

Portland Mayor Sam Adams has appointed Jennifer Yocom, currently his deputy chief of staff, to be his next chief of staff.

“Jennifer and I have worked together for many years. She has tackled complex issues as my deputy chief of staff, elevated our City’s Arts & Culture agenda, and managed my mayoral campaign,” Mayor Adams said. “She brings an unparalleled energy and dedication to public service.”

Departing chief of staff Warren Jimenez has accepted a position as Assistant Director at the Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation, beginning April 2. Jimenez’ last day in the Mayor’s office is March 16. Yocom will assume her new duties as chief of staff at that time.

“Portland Parks and Recreation is fortunate to have Warren join their leadership team,” Mayor Sam Adams said. “In his years working for me, Warren has consistently demonstrated his dedication to the community, a keen focus on delivering effective and efficient city services, and a passion for ensuring equity. He will be deeply missed by me and my team, but this is great news for Portland, and we wish him all the best on this exciting new opportunity.”

Yocom most recently served as Mayor Adams’ deputy chief of staff. In that role, she aided in the development of the mayor’s proposed budget and was policy staff for several divisions of the Office of Management & Finance, was the Mayor’s liaison to the State and Federal agendas, managed the City’s response to Occupy Portland, and has developed complex City policies such as transgender-inclusive health care and responsible banking practices. Yocom also managed Mayor Adams’ policy teams, as they focus on delivering on the Mayor’s agenda to create jobs, increase education success for Portland’s youth, and plan for Portland’s future.

Prior to her role as deputy chief of staff, Yocom served as the Mayor’s arts and culture director, where she spearheaded a coordinated regional approach to cultural policy, and arts and arts‐education funding, and helped land television and film productions for Portland.

Yocom has also served in communications and economic development roles at the City of Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development, crafted policy for City Commissioner Erik Sten, worked on previous marketing, communications and political campaigns including Mayor Adams’ 2008 mayoral campaign, and was managing director of the Bus Project, a democracy nonprofit focused on young people and political advocacy.

Yocom has appointed Amy Ruiz to serve as deputy chief of staff. Most recently, Ruiz served as Mayor Adams’ communications director, where she worked across policy teams to share details of their work with the public. Prior to that role, Ruiz served as Planning and Sustainability Policy Advisor, where she worked on projects including Rose Quarter Redevelopment, West Hayden Island concept planning, and River Plan. She has also served as Mayor Adams’ liaison to Portland’s LGBTQ community.

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