At their Monday evening work session, the Eugene City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Sarah Medary as City Manager for the City of Eugene. Medary has served as City Manager Pro Tem since October 19, 2019. Medary has 24 years of experience with the City of Eugene, including nine years as Assistant City manager and six as the director of the Planning and Development Department. She served as the Public Works Director prior to her appointment by Mayor Vinis as City Manager Pro Tem.
Over the last eight months, Medary has led with her core values of authenticity and stewardship and the desire to make a difference for Eugene every day. Her decisive and steady leadership was welcomed and needed in preparing a sustainable budget during this time of fiscal uncertainty, responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the current outrage and grief resulting from longstanding systems of racism and oppression.
“Sarah’s leadership and dedication to Eugene through the COVID-19 pandemic solidified the Council’s and my confidence that she is the right person for this role," said Mayor Lucy Vinis. “Her in-depth knowledge of every city department, her experience, expertise, and strong relationships in the community and organization will provide steady leadership for the city as we recover and move forward.”
As Medary shared at the time of her appointment “We have so much opportunity ahead of us. I really do believe that the intersection of all of these hard challenges is actually going to create some lasting meaningful change for Eugene.”
Medary began her career with the City of Eugene in 1996 as a maintenance employee with Parks and Open Space. Since then she has held many positions throughout the organization and often refers to herself as the City’s utility player. The last twelve years she has held various Executive Director positions, including Planning and Development, Public Works and Assistant City Manager.
Medary has a passion for the intersections of people and places and her educational and professional journeys have followed those paths. Her undergraduate work was completed at Colorado State University (Horticulture) and the University of Oregon (Landscape Architecture) and her M.A. of Organizational Leadership was completed at Gonzaga University. The combination of her education and experience in Eugene will enable her to lead new approaches to system wide issues the community faces and she’s excited to do that. She has been a voice of equity and inclusion throughout her career and regularly invites new voices to help inform her thinking.
When serving as the Assistant City Manager, Sarah was nationally recognized by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and awarded the Assistant Excellence in Leadership Award in Memory of Buford M. Watson. Sarah is a Credentialed Manager through ICMA, a voluntary program that recognizes professional local government managers qualified by a combination of education and experience, adherence to high standards of integrity, and an assessed commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.
As much as she loves her work, she also loves Oregon and finds great happiness on a river with a fly rod in hand.