By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,319)
Jon P. Jennings, currently the assistant city manager for the city of South Portland, has been selected following a national search, to become the next city manager for the City Portland. The City Council will vote on the appointment on Monday, June 15th, during the regular meeting. If the Council votes in favor of the appointment, Jennings will begin on Monday, July 13th. His is a three-year employment contract with an annual base salary of $148,064.
“I’m pleased that Jon has accepted our offer to be Portland’s next city manager,” said Mayor Michael Brennan, who served as the chair of the City Manager Search Committee. “Jon’s unique background in both government and business will serve Portland well. I look forward to him getting to work.”
“The Council and staff in City Hall are looking for the kind of leadership that Jon will provide,” said Councilor David Brenerman, who serves as the Chair of the Nominating Committee “Jon is the right person at this time to be our city manager. He’s a motivator with a vision for the future of the city.”
In South Portland, Jennings is focused on administration, economic development and sustainability in his role as assistant city manager. In 2007, Jennings brought the idea of professional basketball to Maine. He was a partner in Maine Basketball, LLC, which owns the Maine Red Claws, until 2012. He was also a partner in the development of Thompson’s Point, but he has sold his interest in it. He co-owns Red Mango, a yogurt shop at the Maine Mall in South Portland. On a personal note, Jennings, a runner, competed in the Boston Marathon this year after a long lay-off from running.
Prior to moving to Maine, Jennings worked in the United States Senator for then-Senator John Kerry, and held several senior positions in government in Washington, DC. Jennings worked at the U.S. Department of Justice where he served as the Acting Assistant Attorney General and Principal Deputy Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs from April 1999 to June 2000. Jennings served as Senior Assistant to the Cabinet Secretary and Director of Policy Coordination at the White House from 1998-1999 and held a position as a White House Fellow in the Office of Cabinet Affairs from 1997-1998. In his work at the White House, Jennings acted as a liaison to President Clinton’s Initiative on Race, worked on Social Security reform and served as White House liaison to numerous Cabinet agencies and the Office of the First Lady. Prior to his work in Washington, DC., he worked for the Boston Celtics in a variety of coaching and management positions for 11 years. .
Jennings currently serves on the boards of Mercy Hospital, July 4th Portland, and served as a tri-chair for the City’s Homelessness Task Force. He attended Indiana University (Bloomington) and Harvard University, where he received his master’s in public administration.