What is Nick Fish putting in the water in his office? Nick Fish's chief of staff Sam Chase is leaving. His departure follows that of senior policy coordinator Carmen Rubio last week to take a job running Portland's Latino Network, and the departure of senior policy director Hannah Kuhn on September 1. Chase released this statement to the media just now:
"After helping Nick in his election to City Council, I committed to launching his office as Chief of Staff. Our accomplishments in just over one year have been some of the most rewarding in my career-creating a new Portland Housing Bureau, securing unprecedented new resources for affordable housing and homelessness, launching new initiatives for Parks and Recreation and so much more.
Now, I am ready to explore new opportunities that build on my passion for community service.
I will assist Nick in transitioning to a new Chief of Staff and senior team so there is no interruption in moving his agenda forward and I will close out priority projects before I leave. We will announce our plans shortly.
Nick's values, ability to implement real change, and commitment to his work have made serving as his Chief of Staff truly remarkable and rewarding.
I appreciate Nick's friendship and support for this decision and look forward to working with him in many new and different ways!"
"It's been an incredible year," says Chase, who does not have another job lined up yet.
We've offered Chase's boss the opportunity to comment and will let you know if he has anything to add.
Fish says he doesn't know what's in the water. "It's not bottled," he says. "It's that filtered stuff."
Is Fish just a crazy boss who's impossible to work for? "I think I'm one of the easiest people to work with in the building," he says. "You should do a survey. But I think I'm a pushover as a commissioner."
Fish says Chase's replacement will be announced on Monday, and so will Kuhn's. Who are they?
"One person still has to give notice to their employer," says Fish, who is staying tight-lipped.
"Sam is going to be in my life for some time yet," he says. "He is going to be helping us with the transition, and helping me with resource development issues in the housing bureau. I think he has greatness in his future."
Fish says there is a "natural kind of turnover that happens in the building." "It's a very stressful job and disruptive to family life and things like that." Bottom line, he has been "very blessed" to work with Chase, he added.