Another top county official gives notice

Chief civil deputy prosecutor takes lower-paying job with Vancouver

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

Published:

Updated: June 3, 2013, 8:42 PM

 

Bronson Potter, who, as Clark County chief civil deputy prosecutor serves as top legal adviser to the county commissioners, has given his notice.

Potter, 60, told Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik on May 31 that he accepted a job as chief assistant city attorney in Vancouver, a job that means a $15,000-a-year pay cut.

Potter replaces Judy Zeider, who retired.

Potter’s news follows retirement announcements by Clark County Administrator Bill Barron, 68, who said he’ll leave this year before his contract expires in 2014, and by Deputy Administrator Glenn Olson, who had been mentioned as a candidate to replace Barron. Olson, 57, said last week his retirement will be effective July 1.

In an email June 2 to several top county managers, Potter wrote, “I will be leaving the county after 22 enjoyable and rewarding years. I have accepted an offer to serve as Vancouver’s Chief Assistant City Attorney. My last day of service with the county will be June 28. I have enjoyed working with you and I’m hoping we’ll have occasion to work together in the future.”

His first day with the city will be July 1.

Potter, who earns $133,584 a year with the county, will earn $118,992 annually at the city.

Vancouver City Attorney Ted Gathe said the city also gave Potter a two-year signing bonus of $20,000 ($10,000 after his first paycheck, and $10,000 one year from now) and a bank of 160 hours of leave to compensate for the difference in salary.

“I’ve known him for more than 20 years,” Gathe said of Potter. “He’s a wonderful attorney, and he’ll be a great addition to our staff.”

Potter, who was in private practice for 12 years before going to work for the county, declined to speak in detail Monday about his decision to take a pay cut and leave the county.

“I’m a giver,” he joked. When asked whether the current makeup of the Board of Clark County Commissioners was an influence in his decision to leave, he would only say, “At this time, the city is just a better fit for me.”

“I’m really excited about the opportunity that the city is presenting me,” Potter said.

Superior Court Administrator Jeff Amram was among many county managers sorry to learn about Potter’s decision.

“This is bad,” Amram said. “Not just for those of us who rely upon Bronson’s calm, reasoned judgment, but for the entire county.”

Stephanie Rice: 360-735-4508 or stephanie.rice@columbian.com.