County seeks administrator search firm


(1/4/2009)

by Sarah Squires

The County Board will discuss Tuesday whether it will hire a firm to find a replacement for County Administrator Bob Reinert when he retires July 31, 2009.

Reinert announced his retirement in October, and the board briefly discussed how it will go about replacing him during a recent strategic planning session. One of the options presented was hiring a firm to conduct an executive search, with board members asking to review some proposals and prices.

Four proposals are included in the county’s Tuesday agenda, ranging in price from $14,000 plus “out-of-pocket” expenses, to a percent of salary which would be capped at $27,000 for the search.

County Board Chair Dwayne Voegeli said that part of the reason the board will consider using a firm to help make a selection for the position is because it expects that county employees will apply. And, he said some of those employees might be those who generally review such applications. “We want to find a process that is as professionally run and fair and open as possible,” he said. “We don’t want people to think that anyone is on the inside track.”

But because of the state’s deficit and how that will affect the county’s budget, Voegeli said he wasn’t sure he could support spending the money for an outside firm to do the legwork.

One of the other suggestions that the board may consider would be to ask another county’s human relations departments to help handle the search, said Voegeli.

In either case, Voegeli said that the top administrative position in the county is a crucial one, and one that’s grown more technical and professional over the last several decades. “[The county administrator] needs to be both a manager and a leader, good with numbers and good with people,” said Voegeli. “That can be hard to find.”

Reinert has worked for the county for 14 years, 12 as its chief administrator. He was out of the office Friday and unavailable for comment.

 

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