County manager interview panel in works
After questions about the make-up of a committee to winnow down the number of Douglas County manager candidates on Thursday, commissioners voted to each pick two people to participate in an Aug. 31 interview panel.
The panel suggested by the county Human Resources Department consisted of business and leadership groups across the county.
However, Commissioner Dave Nelson objected to that make-up.
“Most of the groups have an agenda that’s different from taxpayers of the county,” he said. “I think it should be composed of a broader cross-section of the county.”
The panel’s job will be to meet and discuss 10-15 county manager candidates and reduce them to a half-dozen for commissioners to interview on Sept. 25.
While pointing out that business people pay taxes, Commissioner Larry Walsh said he liked the idea of a town hall.
Human Resources Director Wendy Lang said the county received 67 applicants, of whom 38 met the minimum requirements. The department is conducting phone screenings with those candidates to further reduce their numbers.
Commissioners have until Wednesday to get their names into the county manager for the interview panel.
Lang said that both the panel members and candidates they discuss will be made public for the Aug. 31 meeting.
Commissioners briefly discussed interviewing the 10-15 candidates themselves, but that proposal failed to win a vote.
County Manager Larry Werner’s contract expires on Aug. 31. Commissioners voted to name Jenifer Davidson interim county manager.
The salary range for the position is $168,000-$235,000.
On Thursday, commissioners also approved hiring a new chief financial officer and comptroller.
Terri Willoughby has worked in the public sector for over twenty years, working for the County of Riverside, and various cities and municipal utilities in capacities ranging from assistant controller to finance director.
“We are very pleased to welcome Terri to Douglas County and we’re looking forward to all that she can bring to the table as we start looking into next budget cycle,” said Werner. “Having her experience on staff definitely gives our county an advantage in sound financial management.”