City manager hopefuls to meet the public

Just three days after watching the 2008 election returns, Sequim residents will get back into campaign mode Friday as they get a chance to meet the three candidates for the city manager position.

But that will be the first opportunity the public will have to learn anything about the people who want to run the city, including their names.

Citing RCW 42.56.250, that exempts such information from public disclosure, the city has refused to release the candidates' resumes or even their names prior to Friday's reception.

The public can quiz the three hopefuls - one of the original four has withdrawn - for the city's top job from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.

City human resources manager Kathy Brown said comment cards will be available for people to give their impressions of the candidates.

Interviews before three panels in executive session will follow from 9 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Then the council will go into executive session to discuss the candidates, a process that potentially could continue into Sunday.

Mayor Laura Dubois said the council first will meet with the community panel and the city staff panel to hear what those groups think are the candidates' strengths and weaknesses.

They are not to rank the candidates, she said.

Then the council will meet in executive session to consider those recommendations along with their own impressions, Dubois said.

"Then we'll arrive at our first choice and hopefully call that person and negotiate on Saturday," she said.

The decision process could extend into Sunday if a second executive session is needed, Dubois said, noting recruiter Lee Walton has said the city might not necessarily get its first choice.

Dubois said at the council's Oct. 27 meeting that one more executive session was needed on Nov. 3 to discuss questions to be asked of the candidates and how the contract will be negotiated with the chosen candidate.

One interview panel will consist of the seven city councilors, who will conduct their interviews at Sequim City Hall, 152 W. Cedar St.

Another panel will consist of six city staff members and the third will have eight community members. Those panels will conduct their interviews at the

Sequim Transit Center.

The six city staff members will be administrative services director Karen Goschen, interim city manager Robert Spinks, city clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese, planning director Dennis Lefevre, acting public works director Bill Bullock and capital projects manager Frank Needham.

The community member panel will include Jamestown S'Klallam tribal chairman Ron Allen; former city councilor Bob Anundson; Dr. Vicki DeLorey, director of Peninsula College's Bachelor of Applied Science program; and Vickie Maples, executive director of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce.

It also will include Ruth Marcus of the advisory group Sequim Speaks; Mary Moore of the Sequim Board of Adjustment; Craig Stevenson of Estes Builders; and Steve Vogel, chief of Clallam County Fire District No. 3.

The city began advertising for its city manager position last month. The city manager position's salary range, as set by council at its Aug. 11 meeting, is $95,000 to $115,000 "plus excellent benefits."

Requirements include a bachelor's degree in public administration or a related field with a master's degree desirable. They also include seven years experience, preferably as a city manager, city administrator, assistant manager or major department head.

The successful candidate will be taking over a city with a $22.5 million budget, including a $8.1 million general fund and 79 employees, although three of those positions are vacant.

Meet the candidates

7-9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 7

Sequim Transit Center,

190 W. Cedar St.

Open to the public

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