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Rob Dixon Retires After 11 Years as Assistant City Manager

Rob DixonHillsboro Assistant City Manager of Community Development Rob Dixon made his retirement official this week, five months after announcing his plans to retire in February.

Known for his outgoing personality, his candid talk, and his love of Hawaiian shirts, Dixon oversaw the Building, Planning, Public Works, and Water departments ­at a time when Hillsboro experienced substantial economic growth and continued demand for additional housing.

“The past 11 years have been both challenging and rewarding, but mostly, it’s been my immense privilege to serve the Hillsboro community and contribute to Hillsboro’s success,” Dixon said. “I am and always will remain honored to have worked with such a highly talented group of people who understand the Hillsboro Way. They are committed to protecting public safety while presenting building solutions that expedite economic development opportunities and create jobs.”

Dixon joined the City of Hillsboro in July 2007 after previously serving for three years as the Community Development Director for the City of Sherwood. Prior to that, Dixon served 10 years as the Public Works Director and City Engineer for the City of Cornelius.

Trained as an engineer and a chemist, Dixon graduated with degrees in civil engineering, environmental biology, and biochemistry from Loyola Marymount University and California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo. He spent the first 11 years of his professional career as a private consulting engineer.

Dixon’s arrival in Hillsboro in 2007 coincided with the beginning of the nation’s recession.

“That was a challenging time, indeed. I’m proud that we were able to weather the storm without staff layoffs,” Dixon said. “We relied on attrition for staff reductions, and we repositioned ourselves to be prepared for the economy’s upturn.”

Hillsboro bounced back from the recession with Intel’s decision to expand its Hillsboro facilities, and the construction and opening of Kaiser Permanente’s Westside Medical Center, a LEED Gold facility which, at the time, was the first new hospital built in Washington County in four decades.

In recent years, Dixon’s work areas have included:

  • South Hillsboro, the largest master-planned neighborhood in Oregon history, which will see the development of 8,000 new homes over the next 20 years
  • The Willamette Water Supply Project, which will provide a new, reliable, resilient water supply from the Willamette River beginning in 2026
  • The construction and operation of Hillsboro’s Public Works Facility
  • The Building Department’s transition to paperless permitting
  • Public infrastructure development and maintenance throughout the City
  • Transportation improvements and funding
  • The expansion of the City’s fiber network

“Rob has provided thoughtful, quality leadership of the City’s community development departments,” said City Manager Michael Brown. “His passionate advocacy of our City — especially with regard to transportation, land, and water — resulted in many successful projects and collaborations with private- and public-sector partners.”

Dixon says he will not make any commitments during the first six months of his retirement. Instead, he will spend time with his wife of 35 years, Susan, as well as his children and grandchildren, deciding what their next big adventure will entail.

With Dixon’s retirement, the City of Hillsboro will begin the process for hiring a new Assistant City Manager in the coming weeks.

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