Bonner wants to add ‘CEO’ to county manager’s title |

Bonner wants to add ‘CEO’ to county manager’s title

by Sheila Gardner

County Manager Steve Mokrohisky is doing such an outstanding job that Commission Chairman Lee Bonner wants to add “chief executive officer” to his title.

Bonner said at the conclusion of Mokrohisky’s annual evaluation Thursday he would like to add the designation.

“I propose we call it county manager/CEO,” Bonner said. “A lot of counties are doing it. Having a CEO of a corporation meet with our CEO is important.”

The change would have to be placed on the agenda for commission approval.

Mokrohisky was appointed county manager a year ago following the resignation of T. Michael Brown who became city manager of Hillsboro, Ore.

Mokrohisky, 35, came to Douglas County as assistant county manager in 2009 from Milwaukee, Wis., where he worked for a decade.

He prepared a six-page self-evaluation for commissioners who provided comments that ranged from “just under superior to superior.”

Commissioners had trouble coming up with weaknesses.

“It’s very easy to go through and mark superior on everything,” Bonner said.

He said Mokrohisky’s assets could be his liabilities as well.

“I am very impressed with your excellent communication skills, but I don’t think you can be the communicator for the county,” he said, citing Mokrohisky’s other multiple responsibilities. “I don’t see any stress in you, and that could be a weak point.”

He said Mokrohisky had put together an excellent management team.

“You’ve had a great first year. I hope your second year won’t be a letdown,” Bonner said.

Commissioner Greg Lynn said he marked Mokrohisky superior in every category.

“The set of circumstances you inherited were extraordinarily difficult. I wouldn’t want your job,” Lynn said.

He said Mokrohisky had the ability to manage the diverse personalities on the board and was resilient to stress. He said the county manager didn’t cause conflict, nor did he avoid it.

Mokrohisky told the board he considered it a privilege to serve as county manager.

“The success of leadership depends largely on the talent of the people who work with you,” he said.

Commissioner Doug Johnson said he felt Mokrohisky’s developing knowledge of Douglas County history gave him a “fresh take” on issues.

“If we were giving merits you would have come in just under superior,” Johnson said. “This is your first year. You are a very quick learner and you’ve got the ability to bring in other people. I think you’re doing an incredible job. Stay the course.”

Commissioner Mike Olson cited Mokrohisky’s “superior community relations.”

“You’re always articulate, clear and well-received,” Olson said. “I’ve never seen you doubt that we can solve a problem or achieve a goal.”

Commissioner Nancy McDermid praised Mokrohisky’s involvement at the Lake.

“Your efforts at Lake Tahoe are just outstanding. I think you set out to establish those relationships. Your success on the airport question gave you a lot of credibility,” McDermid said. “You always have a way of lightening the load and getting it done.”

In keeping with the pay policy for exempt and unrepresented management employees, Mokrohisky’s salary remains at $118,750 plus benefits for the next three years without merit or bonus pay. It represents a 5 percent pay cut taken by employees last year.