Jefferson Smith Wants You to Help Pick His Staff

How will Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland) pick a mayoral staff? He'll ask if you know anybody good.

The mayoral candidate announced at yesterday's software-startup debate at Elemental Technologies that, if elected, he'll ask for public input on who should staff his office.

"The job of recruitment can't be left to a single person, but takes some version of a village," Smith said. "And I hope this village will help."

The Smith campaign has not yet offered details of how it might consult the village. Smith said the idea of crowd-sourcing a staff came from Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, who as mayor of Denver "engaged members of the community in the transition planning process to help identify the best and the brightest—not only within government, but outside."

That promise of outside input might have perked a few ears in the Elemental meeting room. Smith and his November opponent, former City Commissioner Charlie Hales, are trying to woo a tech-business sector that mostly backed businesswoman Eileen Brady in the May primary.

Hales told the Elemental audience he'll also break from tradition in picking a staff: He'll conduct a nationwide search.

"There's a lot of talent here locally," Hales said. "But we sometimes can be a little parochial. There are a few people that I'd like to see compete for these jobs from the national pool as well as locally."

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