05/23/2012: "$15,000 A Month For Interim Administrator"
The County Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to hire an interim county administrator (Pro Tempore) until a replacement can be found for Pete Rose, who recently resigned to take a job on the mainland; reportedly at less pay.
The Council decided to go with the Greg Prothman Company , who “will provide the services of its employee, Robert W. Jean…as County Administrator Pro Tempore.” The County will provide Mr. Jean with an office; staff; laptop; printer; wireless internet, and a place to live (the County maintains a furnished apartment in the legislative building) and cover his electrical use.
The Prothman Company will provide Mr. Jean to the County at an hourly rate of $60 and hour, plus 40% for “overhead”, which works out (173.33 hours a month ="full time") to $14,996.51 a month.
The County already has a Pro Tempore, David Kelly, but he too has been looking for work outside of the county, and like Rose, found it on the mainland. Last Thursday Kelly was hired by the Selah City Council (next to Yakima) as their new administrator.
The question now is. how long will Mr. Jean be around? The Council is not looking for a replacement for Rose at this time, and has no plans to begin a search until after the November vote is in on the recommendations by the Charter Review Commission, which has put the question of a County Administrator vs. a County Manager on the ballot.
At this point the County has no idea what the voters will do, or if there will even be a need for a County Administrator -only a County Manager. In the meantime it is expected the Council will continue to move things along, and perhaps dive a little deeper into administrative areas, since it will take time for Mr. Jean to identify the dynamics of his new job, and the personalities and history of on-going projects.
Chair Patty Miller is quoted in a County press release as stating: “The Council intends to stay focused on moving our top 2012 initiatives through to completion, including a long range sustainable budget, smooth solid waste transition and resolution of the Critical Areas Ordinance,”
In a telephone interview between Jean and the County, he is reported to have agreed with Miller’s for the need to continue to “move forward, and the budget is among his top priorities.
“San Juan County has already made serious budget cuts,” he said, “so any additional cuts we have to make will require setting priorities, making tough decisions and looking for even more ways to provide services efficiently.”
He added that one urgent task will be to get the message to voters about the need for the three-tenths of a percent Criminal Justice/Public Safety Sales tax, which will appear on the August primary election ballot.
“I don’t come in claiming to have all the answers, but hopefully I can pull the staff and elected officials together as a team so that we can find the answers together.”
His official job description requires him to “execute, lead, and coordinate the policies and directives of San Juan County. The position is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the County's Strategic Plan, its core values, policies and programs. The position provides fiscal leadership to San Juan County, including recommendation of the county budget and the provision of professional assistance to the County Council for all fiscal matters under the Council's jurisdiction.”
Jean and Rose will meet next week as part of the transition, and then Rose will officially end his employment on June 8th.