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Portland City Council appoints Danielle West as first woman city manager

West served as interim city manager beginning in November 2021.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland now has a new permanent city manager after a unanimous vote Monday night. 

Danielle West is making history as the city's first full-time female city manager after serving as interim city manager since November 2021. 

She has worked for the city for more than 15 years. West previously served as Portland's corporation counsel until Jon Jennings stepped down from the city manager position amid controversy over racial justice in the city. 

West got emotional while thanking her children after the vote. 

"Thank you to Jacob and Abby, my kids. I know there's a lot of sacrifices that come with a career like this," West said.

The appointment comes after a nationwide search. Members of the public as well as former city leaders spoke during Monday's meeting to voice their support for West. 

Portland Mayor Kate Snyder said now that the city officially has its leader, it can finally focus on tackling major issues, including homelessness and the city's staffing shortage. 

"You know, this instability that we've had in Portland, because [of] a lack of permanent city leadership at the top, I think really has impacted our ability to hire, and to know where we're going," Snyder said. "And so, being able to know that we've got a manager hired, I think really helps us as we fill jobs, and get to work."

As part of a three-year-contract West will receive an annual base salary of $210,000.

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