Portland corporation counsel Danielle West (left) questions a Portland police officer during a hearing in 2014. Credit: Seth Koenig / BDN

The City of Portland Wednesday named its intended interim city manager to take the helm when City Manager Jon Jennings leaves to assume a new role in Florida.

Danielle West, the city’s corporation counsel, has been nominated by Mayor Kate Snyder and the city council to become the city manager on an interim basis. If approved, West will take over for the departing city manager on Nov. 2.

West said she was honored to receive the nomination and anticipated working toward city council goals.

Portland city leadership is in transition. Jennings, who was hired in 2015, has been hired to become the city manager of Clearwater, Florida, and will step down on Nov. 1, a day before Election Day. Police chief Frank Clark, who was hired by Jennings in 2019, will also step down on Nov. 1 to take a corporate security role for an unnamed international firm.

West has worked for the city since 2008, becoming its top lawyer in 2013. Before that, she worked at the firm Bergen & Parkinson in Kennebunk, focusing on municipal law and land use law. She graduated from the University of Maine School of Law and worked as a law clerk for the Maine Superior Court.

West’s nomination will be voted on at the Oct. 4 city council meeting. If approved, she will earn an annual salary of $181,079 while in the role.

Associate corporation counsel Jennifer Thompson has been nominated to take over as acting corporation counsel should West assume the city manager position.

City councilor Pious Ali said he appreciated an interim city manager with a deep understanding of city operations and “solid relationships with staff.”  

“I can’t think of anyone to lead us through these changes other than Danielle West,” Councilor Ali said.

Snyder is expected to appoint a city manager hiring subcommittee and an upcoming council meeting.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated Danielle West’s title.