Clark County Administrator Mark McCauley accepted an offer Tuesday from county commissioners to become acting county manager.
His title will include “acting” until he’s confirmed by a five-member board of county councilors, which won’t be seated until January 2016.
The position of county manager and the expanded board of councilors were key components of a voter-approved county charter, which takes effect Jan. 1.
Commissioners Tom Mielke, David Madore and Jeanne Stewart spent approximately 90 minutes in executive session, without McCauley, before meeting in open session to offer him the job.
He was their unanimous choice for what Madore said will be a “challenging” role, as the county adjusts to a new form of government.
As acting county manager, McCauley will be paid $163,100 a year, up from the $145,000 he has been earning as county administrator.
Under the charter, the county manager has executive authority over departments while the elected councilors set policy.
Currently, commissioners have both executive and legislative powers.
Two councilors will be elected in 2015 and take office in 2016.
McCauley, a Ridgefield-area resident, was appointed administrator in September 2013 following the retirement of Bill Barron.
McCauley, 58, had been the county’s director of general services since 2006.
As director of general services, McCauley oversaw a staff of more than 100 people who work across a variety of county offices including purchasing, technology, telecommunications, facilities management and risk management.
McCauley, a certified public accountant and retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, has been with the county since 2001. Before being hired as director of general services, he worked as administrative services manager and finance manager for the department of public works.
“I grew up in a military family, and life has taken me all over the world. After my career in the Army, my wife and I picked Clark County to be our home for the long haul,” McCauley said. “We love it here, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to continue serving our community at this important time in our history.”
He has bachelor’s degrees in business administration and accounting from Washington State University and a Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University.
While McCauley’s salary will increase, his monthly car allowance was cut from $700 to $400, according to his contract.
The contract, effective Jan. 1, runs through Dec. 31, 2016.
If the five-member council confirms him as county manager in January 2016, his contract will be subject to an extension.
If a majority of the council decides to hire someone else as county manager, they could either let McCauley serve out the rest of his contract or fire him, said Chris Horne, the county’s chief civil deputy prosecutor.
If the council fires McCauley before his contract ends, he’ll receive a severance package equal to six months’ salary.
According to the $896 million budget for 2015-16, the county has approximately 1,650 full-time employees.