PORT ANGELES — Stayton City Manager Keith Campbell has become the second person to drop out of the running for retiring Clallam County administrator Jim Jones’ position.
Campbell was among five finalists — later reduced to four — three of whom will be in Port Angeles on Thursday and Friday visiting with county government staff, getting interviewed in executive session by the county commissioners and attending a community meet-and-greet Thursday.
“There was a lot of conversation when it broke that he was a finalist back home,” said Ron Holifield, CEO of Keller, Texas-based Strategic Government Resources.
“He did not offer anything specific.
“He did not say anything that would reflect negatively on Clallam County.”
Campbell did not return calls for comment Tuesday.
The other three candidates are Colleen McAleer of Sequim; Dean Brookshier of Chillicothe, Mo;, and David Fraser of Boulder City, Nev.
Clallam County commission Chairman Mark Ozias of Sequim said he and commissioners Randy Johnson of Port Angeles and Bill Peach of Forks narrowed down 33 applicants to 11 applicants during an executive session July 13.
They narrowed that number to five finalists in another executive session Aug. 10, announcing their decision Aug. 20.
“Each of us came in with our own ranking, and then we worked together in a group discussion to determine how much in alignment we were in terms of how we felt about those candidates,” Ozias said.
One of those five applicants “felt like she couldn’t live in Clallam County,” he said.
“She had indicated that there were elder-care issues, that she and her family needed to stay closer to where they are in order to help take care of aging parents.”
Ozias said the meet-and-greet will be held as scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday in the commissioners hearing room at the county courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.
He said public community panel interviews of the candidates will be rescheduled but will adhere as closely as possible to an announcement last week that had them beginning at 8 a.m. Friday in the hearing room.
Ozias said commissioners will deliberate in executive session between 2:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday before going into public session and deciding a path forward — whether to wait on a decision or make their choice.
“Clearly, we’ll come back at 5 and have some discussion about what has transpired,” he said.
Ozias said he met with Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Alvarez last week and Tuesday morning and was assured that the commissioners acted properly selecting the finalists.
The state Attorney General’s Office has said in a nonbinding guide for public officials that elected officials cannot narrow down or rank applicants for public employment in executive session, calling it“final action” that is not permitted behind closed doors.
“[Alvarez] expressed to me that there was not an issue,” Ozias said Tuesday.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.