On November 4, 2019, the City of Portage will welcome its seventh City Manager since its incorporation in December of 1963. After serving as the Portage City Manager since 2014, Laurence Shaffer announced his retirement earlier in the year. Following a months-long national search, on October 1, the Portage City Council appointed Joseph S. La Margo as City Manager. “Larry leaves Portage in an excellent position for the incoming City Manager, Joe La Margo,” said Mayor Patricia Randall.
Mr. La Margo comes to Portage from Orland Park, Illinois where he served for thirteen years in various leadership roles from Deputy Village Clerk, Public Information Officer, Assistant Village Manager and finally, Village Manager. The Village of Orland Park has 59,000 residents, with nearly 300 full-time, 300 part-time and 700 seasonal municipal employees. “Joe brings to Portage an excellent skill set for economic redevelopment, strong management ideas and a tremendous level of energy and enthusiasm,” said Randall. “With his leadership, Portage will continue to be a vibrant city that offers a high quality of life and a strong economy that are unmatched in the region.”
“I look forward to digging in and doing the hard work it takes to meet the high expectations of Portage citizens and business owners,” said La Margo. “Portage is such a wonderful city and my goal is to continue the great work that has been done by my predecessors.”
Mr. Shaffer retires after spending more than 40 years in municipal government. “Larry has been a visionary leader,” said Mayor Patricia Randall. “He balanced the budget, lowered the millage rate for three consecutive years, created a robust environment for industrial, commercial and residential expansion, fortified the Public Safety Department, embraced technology, increased transparency throughout City Hall and made lasting improvements to the Portage park system.”
Mr. Shaffer will serve as a Special Consultant to the City Manager until November 29. During this period, Mr. Shaffer will help Mr. La Margo become better acquainted with the community and provide a perspective on the many on-going projects within the city.