David Frasher's - Credentialed Manager, International City Management Association

City Manager David Frasher - City of Oregon City, OR

David Frasher has the talent, knowledge, experience, fortitude, and will to lead a large or small city to accomplish its goals to build a vibrant, beautiful, economically secure and productive city. Without reservation, I highly recommend David Frasher for any leadership role he chooses to seek.

~ Nancy Ide, Former City Recorder (2005 – 2015), City of Oregon City

David Frasher is trustworthy, loyal, dedicated, and uncompromisingly focused on doing what is right for the community. He works well within the many layers of the organization to implement change that drives economic health and vitality in the community. I trust and recommend David without reservation.

~ Lance E. Powlison, Rights of Way Program ManagerCity of Oregon City

Mr. Frasher is a competent, respected City Manager, liked by some and respected by all for his energy and effectiveness at his job.

~ W. Michael Gillette, Oregon Supreme Court (retired)

David Frasher's experience in law enforcement and the legal field - together with a background in working with federal, state and local government officials solving complicated public issues leaves him with a unique resume as a highly qualified public servant

~ Robert Mahoney Planning Commissioner and Traffic Advisory Committee member

I highly recommend David Frasher to any organization seeking a top level executive with exceptional professional knowledge and experience, outstanding communication skills, a strong commitment to ethical standards, and leadership abilities that are among the best that I have seen in my years of public service experience.

~ Richard William Riggs, Senior Judge – State of Oregon

His memory is uncanny, his mind is sharp and you’re immediately greeted with a keen sense of professionalism and charm. The city (Grants Pass) has good reason to be proud of David Frasher.

~ Mike Case, Grants Pass Now - a forum for civic mindedness and community wellness

My own experience in working with David Frasher, while I served in the Oregon House of Representatives, was excellent. I distinctly remember the outstanding job he did. He listened to our citizens and the businesses involved and didn’t budge. That’s a leader I respect.

~ Gordon Anderson, past Representative of the State of Oregon, previous Mayor and City Councilor of Grants Pass

About David Frasher

David Frasher grew up on a farm in western Missouri, not far from President Harry Truman’s hometown of Independence. His father, an engineer, and mother eventually opened a successful small business, which they still own today. He earned a Bachelors Degree from MacMurray College, working summers for the Missouri Department of Transportation. After college he returned to the Kansas City area, beginning a career as a police officer with the Independence Missouri Police Department. He worked in Patrol, Crime Laboratory and Detective Divisions, eventually becoming a Major Case Investigator with Kansas City’s “Metro Squad.”

In 1990, David Frasher entered law school at Washington University where he was a Teaching Assistant in legal research and writing for two years, worked summers at a St. Louis law firm and part-time at the United States Attorney’s Office. After law school, he clerked at the Alaska Court of Appeals and then opened his own law practice.

In 1999, David Frasher returned to the Kansas City area and his first municipal manager’s position for the suburban community of Oak Grove, Missouri. Next, he served as the City Administrator of Ashland, Wisconsin, a charming full service port city on the shores of Lake Superior. He moved to southern Oregon in 2005 to accept the position as City Manager of Grants Pass, a rapidly growing community, becoming a “Credentialed Manager” with the International City Management Association (ICMA).

David Frasher recently left his position as City Manager of Oregon City where he continues to remain active in the community as he plans the next phase of his career in public service. He is excited about the challenges and opportunities that are ahead and remains enthusiastic about making our world a better place through service, leadership and education.

David Frasher's Biography

I grew up on a farm in Missouri about twenty five miles from Kansas City. Our family members were deeply committed to one another and my values and life skills were enriched through hard work and the love and wisdom of parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I didn't realized it at the time, but those experiences provided me with the foundation to be a leader and an appreciation for the virtues of service, honor and integrity that would sustain me and guide my actions throughout a career in public service.

After high school, I attended MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois. For me, high school had been somewhat more about participating in sports than about academics, but at MacMurray I quickly developed a passion for learning that is with me still today. I graduated from MacMurray with honors and returned home during the economic recession of 1981. A few months later I landed a job as a police officer with the City of Independence, Missouri. Initially, I intended to remain there for only a couple of years while I sorted out what advanced degree I wanted to pursue and paid off my student loans. However, I found the job to be very rewarding and remained with the department for nearly nine years. I was fortunate to work with some outstanding senior officers and supervisors. My confidence grew, I learned to think on my feet, frequently in a crisis, and I learned what worked and did not work when dealing with people at all levels and in every imaginable scenario.

During my career in law enforcement, I got to know some prosecuting attorneys and judges and they suggested that I consider attending law school. Eventually their suggestions took root and, while I was not certain what I would do with a law degree, I was certain that I wanted more education and that a law degree would provide a very broad range of skills that would be applicable to nearly any profession in which I would be interested. Thereafter, I used all of my leave time at the police department studying for the law school admission test. The decision paid off and my scores were sufficient to gain acceptance at a top twenty law school - Washington University in Saint Louis. The only hitch was how to pay for it. I sold my house, a horse that I owned, and nearly everything but my truck and my dog and, with more student loans, came up with enough to finance the endeavor.

During law school, I worked at the United States Attorney's Office and had a summer job at a local law firm. Law school was a wonderful experience and provided me, not only with knowledge of the law, but with research, writing, and public speaking skills that I may never have developed otherwise. After graduation, I was fortunate to obtain a prestigious judicial clerkship with the Alaska Court of Appeals in Anchorage, Alaska. Serving a one year term for an appellate court was a great experience and the ideal platform from which to take and pass the bar exam.

At the conclusion of my clerkship I opened my own law practice. Several of my family members are small business owners and the idea of making my own way was appealing on many levels. After a few years of practicing law, however, I experienced a longing to return to public service. In my law practice, I was helping one person at a time through a judicial system that, as good as it was, sometimes fell short of making a real difference in the lives of my clients. At about the same time, I was corresponding with a friend and mentor, who was the former City Manager of Colorado Springs. He encouraged me to become a city manager and a few months later I obtained my first job in the profession as the City Administrator of Oak Grove, Missouri. I was excited about my new career because I was convinced that I would be able to make a difference while working in an environment that, at least for me, would be more dynamic and stimulating than helping one person at a time through legal counseling.

Oak Grove was experiencing tremendous growth during my time there and it was all I could do to keep up with the demands. The city's budget more than doubled in three years, I created two new departments (Police and Finance) from the ground up, and the small staff was sometimes inundated with as many as one hundred building permit applications in a single week. Even so, the job was fun, interesting, and invigorating. Toward the end of my service in Oak Grove, the six member board was often divided and the mayor frequently had to break tie votes to keep things moving. Overall, the experience was positive and I will always be grateful to Oak Grove for the opportunity to return to public service as a professional administrator.

My next position was with the City of Ashland, Wisconsin. Ashland was a charming community with a rich history. While Oak Grove was a booming suburb of Kansas City, Ashland was a stand-alone community with little growth, a county seat, a college town, and a full service city offering everything from a municipal library and airport, to a marina and cemetery system. In fact, we sometimes begrudged that there were far more deceased residents in Ashland's state mandated cemeteries, than there were employed people to pay for them. Ashland had experienced a harsh transition from an economy built upon the extraction of natural resources to one of limited manufacturing, medical and regional services, retail, and tourism. It was here that I learned the nuts and bolts of economic development in a community in critical need of jobs. Working for Ashland I began to more fully develop my own style, finding a comfortable balance between embracing the community with enthusiasm, while maintaining enough independence to move on in my career when the time came. It was still difficult to leave but after four years the challenges had largely evaporated and I was ready to advance to a larger city, preferably one in which the dynamics of growth management would provide new challenges and opportunities for professional development.

Those challenges came when I accepted the position of City Manager for the City of Grants Pass, Oregon. The first three years in Grants Pass were exciting, productive, and enjoyable. I worked with, recruited, and/or developed an outstanding team of executive staff while the city grew from 25,000 to nearly 35,000 residents. The council and staff reached new benchmarks for teamwork and cooperation, the city was on the move, citizen participation was healthy, our finances secure, and we were winning both public confidence and national recognition for everything from our new interactive website, to our public safety services, including the only CALEA accredited emergency dispatch center in the State of Oregon. Additionally, we were managing growth with a host of innovative policies to encourage infill developments, recover the costs of growth impacts, and ensure that our infrastructure and staff development could keep pace with the demands.

Prior to my arrival, Grants Pass had annexed a number of areas in which residents were opposed to annexation. As a result, some were dismayed about the brisk pace of growth and the climate was ripe for political change. That change came in January of 2009 when several new council members came aboard. Elected on a platform of controlling growth, the new members concentrated their efforts on making changes in key staff positions, including the City Manager. As a result, my efforts to work with the new group were unsuccessful and I eventually resigned in August of 2009. The community reacted strongly, recalling several members shortly after my resignation. The Council, unquestionably, had the authority to make changes in the City Manager position. However, in this instance, the way in which it was handled raised concerns in the community and that led to additional political change.

While the conclusion of my tenure came at a time of political turmoil that may be inherent within the Grants Pass area, the overall experience there was extremely positive and successful. The public/private partnerships, intergovernmental relationships, economic development efforts, and successful labor and media relations were among the best of my career and provided me with an outstanding record of achievement that I believe will enable me to better serve in my next position as a professional city manager.

I learned a great deal while working for the City of Grants Pass. I have matured in my knowledge and skill within my profession, and am fortunate to have a long list of excellent references in Grants Pass, including the Mayor, Council President, former Council members, co-workers, and many other community leaders.

City Manager David Frasher - Grants Pass City Manager - photo taken by Lucas Balzer http://www.lukaphoto.com