Jones, commissioners talk of search for county administrator

Jim Jones

Jim Jones

PORT ANGELES — Since Clallam County Administrator Jim Jones announced his retirement, he has received plenty of emails from agencies trying to recruit him for other executive positions.

As these emails have flooded his inbox, Jones has increasingly become concerned that hiring a search firm will do little to attract outside talent, he told the Board of County Commissioners on Monday.

“I haven’t seen a position come in that doesn’t pay a lot more than we do,” Jones said. “What I’m seeing is we just don’t stack up.”

Jones, who has worked as the county’s top executive since 2006, said in February he could postpone his planned Sept. 1 retirement until October.

Jones suggested that hiring a search firm for $25,000 to $30,000 might not attract many outside candidates and said the next county administrator is likely someone who either already lives in the county or is someone who is already looking for positions in Clallam County.

“I don’t think out here on the end of the Earth that we can compete in terms of compensation and whatever money we might allow toward a moving allowance,” Jones said. “I’m just suggesting that a person who wants to move here will be monitoring the local newspaper and our website.”

He questioned whether the search for his successor is something that the county could handle in-house and whether the county would actually receive $25,000 or $30,000 in value by hiring a search firm.

Commissioners Randy Johnson and Bill Peach each quickly said they still want to move forward with selecting a search firm.

Johnson said there is value in hiring a search firm, such as allowing the firm to take on some of the more laborious recruitment activities, freeing up county resources.

Peach said he wants to assure the public the county is moving forward using a transparent process.

Human Resources officials said they have been able to attract out-of-area talent for other lower-paying positions.

Commissioner Mark Ozias said he is sensitive to the issue and asked county staff to reach out to two search firms that have put in bids to see if they are concerned about the county’s ability to compete.

Ozias asked for more information to be provided from both firms during the Board of County Commissioners’ next work session, which is set for 9 a.m. Monday.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.

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