County Council decides to restart national search for county manager

Councilors to seek candidate  that more completely fulfills  their vision for the position

VANCOUVER — Members of the the Clark County Board of Councilors agreed Wednesday to restart a national search for a new county manager.

In lengthy discussions over two days, the councilors determined that while each of the two finalists had strengths, neither had the specific combination of skills and qualities they were seeking.

County Chair Marc Boldt and his fellow councilors announced Wednesday that their search for a new county manager will be restarted. Photo by Mike Schultz
County Chair Marc Boldt and his fellow councilors announced Wednesday that their search for a new county manager will be restarted. Photo by Mike Schultz

“We had two totally different people, two very good individuals who probably were 85 to 95 percent of what we wanted but we made a bold attempt when we got rid of the last manager (Mark McCauley) that we were going to go forward and find a person to put this county in a great spot,’’ said County Chair Marc Boldt. “We just didn’t feel they (the two finalists) met that goal. Rather than to go with someone we were kind of satisfied with, but not really that excited about, we would try to see who else is out there.’’

The council has directed Strategic Government Resources, the Texas-based executive search firm that conducted the fall 2017 recruitment, to immediately restart a national search.

The council’s decision followed a two-day visit by the finalists. They were Dan Chandler, assistant county administrator for Clackamas County, Oregon, and Randall Partington, administrator for Finney County, Kansas.

Boldt said the councilors have decided to increase the salary range for the position, which was listed as $160,000-180,000 in the last posting. The new posting won’t list a salary range, but Boldt revealed what the councilors were willing to increase the range to.

“We’re probably not willing to go above $200,000,’’ Boldt said.

Boldt said they also will attempt to seek candidates with experience or strengths in the areas of collective bargaining and growth management.

“For example, the guy from Kansas (Randall Partington) was excellent as a person but he hadn’t done anything with bargaining or with growth management,’’ Boldt said. “We’re going to put that in the mix as something we want to concentrate on.’’

Boldt also said of the first batch of applicants, only two had experience working at the county level.

“We got a lot of city applicants but this is totally different,’’ Boldt said. “All said and done, we ended up with 25 candidates and only two had county experience. We’re going to really go for county people this time.’’

Boldt said the new job posting would be completed “within three or four days.’’ He also said Interim County Manager Jim Rumpeltes has agreed to continue to fill the position while the search continues.

“We told them to beat the doors down,’’ Boldt said. “Our interim county manager Jim didn’t expect to be here this long. He’s going to stay but there is a time when he will  want to leave.’’

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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