Eric Swanson

Swanson resigns city manager post

After serving less than five months, Phoenix City Manager Eric Swanson will resign Feb. 7 to enter the private sector. Swanson was the fifth city manager in Phoenix since May 2016.

Swanson said he will work in health care administration on the Southeast coast. He had worked in health care administration during a 30-year career in the Air Force Reserve.

“It’s a great opportunity. It’s really something that I think is best for my family,” Swanson said. “It’s been great working here in Phoenix and getting back to the area.”

Swanson’s accomplishments listed by Mayor Chris Luz included reorganization of the urban renewal agency, with the City Council taking over as the body’s board of directors; overseeing start of civic center construction and final funding for the $2.8 million project; hiring a new city attorney; hiring a new city recorder/assistant to the city manager; and creating positive relations with community partners on the urban growth boundary amendment process.

“He was a consummate professional. The kind of guy you want to have as a city manager,” said Luz. “He’s done a lot in four months.”

Swanson was Medford city manager from 2012 until he was fired in 2015. He then became city manager in Gladstone. He had more than 32 years of city management experience on the East Coast, in the Midwest and in Oregon, where he was also Roseburg city manager. Swanson retired from the Air Force Reserve last year.

City Manager Steve Dahl was fired by the City Council in May 2016 after three years of service. Former Planning Director Matt Brinkley then served on an interim basis until Jamie McLeod was hired in November 2016. McLeod was fired in March 2017, and Dave Kanner filled the post as interim until Swanson’s hiring.

Phoenix City Council will discuss appointment of an interim manager when it meets Tuesday, Jan. 16, Luz said.

— Tony Boom is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at

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