Medford’s new city manager explains vision for downtown

Medford, Ore. — After a long while of searching, Medford has a new city manager. The role was offered to director of Medford Parks and Recreation, Brian Sjothun.

Quannah Combs has been the owner of The Bohemian Club in downtown Medford for the past two years.

“You want to be downtown, downtown’s where it’s at,” Combs said.

He’s content with the dining atmosphere on West Main, but he also hopes to see some changes – like communication.

“So we could have some type of open communication in this day and age where we have the technology to do it. Why wouldn’t we put it out there and be online and be discussing things about how to improve our community together,” Combs said.

He said he hopes the new city manager can help.

“I hope he does things that makes sense. I hope he does things that eliminate the hurdles and obstacles that we run into as downtown businesses,”Combs said.

Sjothun says he’s up to the task.

“We need a vibrant downtown and we need people living downtown,” Sjothun said.

He said downtown has already made great strides in the right direction.

“I think that one of the biggest opportunities that Medford has is creating or continuing some of the momentum that has happened in the downtown area,” Sjothun said.

One of his first priorities, creating new relationships and building on the ones that already exist.

“Reconnect the city to our business partners, to the community, to build bridges that may not have been there in the past,” Sjothun said.

Connecting people – and public service – are two things Sjothun is passionate about. He’s hoping that passion will help keep Medford on the right track.

“When it’s all said and done, it’s that Medford has created a 20 or 30-year vision and we are implementing that vision,” Sjothun said.

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