Ellis Appointed Mayor, Maughan Replaces City Manager

In a head-spinning turn of events, former Ward 5 City Councilor Charlyn Ellis was appointed mayor on Sunday – and now prior Mayor Charles Maughan was simultaneously slotted into the City Manager’s position. 

Usually, if a mayor steps down, the city council president would take the top slot, and if not, the position would then go to the council’s vice-president. However, according to a release from the City’s Leadership Committee, these two alternates resigned their executive positions at the same time that Shepard also resigned.  

The release went on to say, ‘As Charlyn Ellis had previously forfeited her position as Ward 5 Councilor, she was available.”  

When asked for comment on the release, Ellis said, “I don’t really know how to respond to that.” 

In fact, details over yesterday’s shifts in power remain fuzzy – but we at The Advocate delved headlong deep into the bowels of City Hall, and here are the details we’ve turned up. 

Mark Shepard has apparently resigned as City Manager effective immediately so that he could move over to an emergency post at Benton County. In fact, the position is so emergency, that Shepard’s actual new title is yet to be determined. 

He will be helping to reorganize the County’s Health Department as they prepare to backstop care for an anticipated onslaught of patients flung from Corvallis Clinic treatment plans by Optum Health’s algorithms… algorithms that are only meant to improve outcomes and have nothing to do with profitability. 

Shepard will also work on County efforts to finance a jail by early next century. 

From what we can piece together, the City’s Leadership Committee quickly viewed Maughan as the singularly obvious choice to succeed Shepard. However, they were not prepared for what would happen next. 

According to an anonymous source, the then president and vice-president of the council expressed “they wanted no part of any damn mayorship,” so they resigned their executive roles while retaining their councillorships. This meant the Committee had to scramble for a new mayor, and according to our source, most of the other councilors also similarly declined to take the position.  

Only Ward 4 Councilor Gabe Shepherd couldn’t initially be reached by the Committee, and according to our source, he has still not responded to calls and emails. 

“Look, it was really nice out yesterday, and we all wanted to get outside when it was suggested that Charlyn as a high school teacher is accustomed to saying yes to thankless tasks, so she became the obvious choice for mayor,” said another source on the committee that would only talk on condition of anonymity. 

Shepard, who confusingly has the same name as Ward 4’s councilor, but spelled differently, said, “Maughan is a good listener, and was the only ready choice to quickly takeover as City Manager.” 

Maughan had kind words for Shepard, saying, “Mark’s performance surrounding our future Civic Center has been inspiring, and we’re sorry to see him go.”  

The Advocate was unable to independently verify these events as they were recounted to us because the only rule for Leadership Committee Meetings – and this is true – is that the City views them as exempt from Oregon’s public meetings laws.  

~ By April Poole, a special correspondent that reports for The Advocate yearly, sometimes, if she gets around to it 

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