Clallam restarts search for county administrator

HR director has filled spot for four years

Rich Sill

Rich Sill

PORT ANGELES — After more than four years, Clallam County has restarted its search for a county administrator to replace Jim Jones, who retired in October 2018.

The job was posted to online job boards on May 9 with a closing date of May 31.

“Applications have been coming and we will be having a discussion at work session on Monday (June 12) about the interview process and how we wish to move forward at this point,” Commissioner Mark Ozias wrote in a June 5 email.

“Our immediate goal will be to hire and onboard a dedicated County Administrator, giving Rich Sill some time to assist with and support this transition while slotting back into a dedicated role as HR Director.”

Commissioner Randy Johnson wrote in a May 31 email that the county has an outside human resources firm that will vet the applications to ensure applicants meet the job requirements. Then the county HR and others will review those candidates to hopefully develop a list of three finalists, the email said.

“These individuals will be invited to Port Angeles to meet the Commissioners, the County staff, and the public and go through the interview process. Our goal is having continuity in this key function and therefore some overlap between Rich and the new Administrator,” Johnson wrote.

Sill has served as interim county administrator/human resources director since October 2018. “Interim” was removed from his title in December 2019.

Ozias wrote, “After an unsuccessful search for a new county administrator several years back, we asked HR Director Rich Sill to take on the additional duty of acting as interim county administrator.

“While this dual role was intended to be temporary, we determined early on that it was most important to focus on building out a finance team so we developed the (chief financial officer) position, then eventually recruited and hired Mark Lane,” he added.

Lane was hired as for that position in December 2018 and continues to serve as the county’s CFO.

Then after COVID-19 hit, it was an “all hands on deck” effort just to effectively manage the county, Ozias wrote.

In early September 2018, the commissioners selected David Fraser to be the next county administrator. He was a government-sector consultant who had been the city manager of small cities in Colorado, Kansas, Michigan and Nevada.

The conditional offer was rescinded county officials discovered “information that showed he isn’t the ‘right fit’ for the county,” the commissioners said at the time. The information never was disclosed.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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