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Portland City Manager To Renew Three-Year Contract

Nearing the end of a three-year tenure marked by disputes with Portland’s mayor, City Manager Jon Jennings is ready to sign on for another three years.

Jennings came to City Hall after stints in government and sports, from the Clinton White House to the Boston Celtics’ front office. He has made headlines in Maine’s largest city with a move to close a local health clinic and opposition to bonding for some school repair efforts.

Those positions and other executive actions put him at odds with Mayor Ethan Strimling, and their relationship reached a nadir earlier this year in a public clash at a city council meeting. Jennings indicated then he was ready to end his tenure — but he says he and Strimling now have improved relations.

“That was a very difficult time over the course of the last year and a half plus. But I think the mayor has done a very good job and I think I’ve done a good job of really just trying to lower the temperature,” he says.

Strimling agrees, and he led the subcommittee that negotiated the new contract up for city council vote next week. Jennings’ salary would be set at $169,000 next year, with future cost-of-living increases built in.

This story was originally published Nov. 16, 2017 at 3:34 p.m. ET.