For the second time this year, in what aides are chalking up to the usual churn of a mayoral term at the midpoint, a senior member of Sam Adams' staff is leaving for a job elsewhere in the city.

This time? It's a face reporters in town have (mostly) come to know and like over the past two years: Roy Kaufmann, Adams' communications director.

  • In...
Kaufmann—who took the post after former O reporter Wade Nkrumah quit and valiantly tried to steer press calls toward policy matters and away from a sex scandal and two recall attempts—is taking a somewhat quieter job directing communications for Portland's Office of Emergency Management. (The office's previous spokeswoman, Christine Miles, just left to run Governor John Kitzhaber's press shop.)

Replacing Kaufmann will be a face very familiar to Mercury readers: Amy J. Ruiz, who left this paper in late 2008 to take a job as a land-use and sustainability policy adviser in Adams' office. (You might remember some controversy when she left our dismal offices for palatial-by-comparison City Hall.)

...and out.
  • ...and out.
In his new job, Kaufmann will run point on the effort to build a West Side emergency staging area. And, as a Southern Californian, he hopes to use the magic of social media to shake Portlanders free of any complacency over earthquake preparedness.

And Ruiz will expand on the duties she's already grabbed in Adams' office, having earned buzz as one of the brighter lights on City Hall's third floor for her work on issues like West Hayden Island, the Rose Quarter redevelopment, and the River Plan. She's also served as Adams' main liaison to Portland's LGBT community.

Call it churn, or call it something else, but the latest change comes as the mayor, by all appearances, begins to focus on the possibility of a 2012 re-election bid. In January, Adams' longtime chief of staff, the controversial Tom Miller, left to run the Transportation Bureau, also overseen by Adams. During that same shakeup, Adams promoted one of his top campaign advisers, Jennifer Yocom, to the important job of deputy chief of staff.

Below the cut, read the official statement from Adams' current chief of staff, Warren Jimenez.

I have two exciting staff changes I want to share with our colleagues throughout the city, and with the community.

First, our Communications Director Roy Kaufmann has accepted a position with the City's Office of Emergency Management (POEM). With the departure of Public Information Officer Christine Miles to Governor John Kitzhaber's communication's team, POEM has an immediate need for a proven communications professional like Roy.

In his two years in Mayor Sam Adams' office, Roy has done a remarkable job sharing the work of this office, across the full spectrum of the Mayor's issues and priorities. I have no doubt that he will continue to bring that level of dedication to his new role, where he can help raise the visibility of POEM's crucial work.

In turn, I have asked Amy Ruiz to step into the role of Communications Director in our office. In her two years on our staff, Amy has worked with the media directly on many of the issues in her portfolio, from River Plan and the Rose Quarter Redevelopment, to public safety issues in her role at our office's LGBTQ liaison. She understands the complex issues this office works on, and she knows the world of media—both the traditional and the new.

Please join us in congratulating both Roy and Amy and welcoming them to their new roles.

Warren Jimenez
Chief of Staff