Saturday, February 27, 2021
Feb. 27, 2021

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Council votes to grant McCauley 18-month contract

Move removes his "interim" status he's had since the charter went into effect

By , Columbian Education Reporter
Published:

Mark McCauley can officially drop a word from his county title.

With a 3-1 vote Tuesday night, the Clark County Council granted McCauley an 18-month contract to be the county manager. McCauley, who has held the position on an interim basis since 2014, received a 3.9 percent raise, increasing his pay from $163,100 to $169,460 per year.

Speaking after the short but heated debate over his contract, McCauley said he was grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the county.

“The county’s been through some challenging times,” McCauley said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

The voting lines were predictable at the evening meeting. Republican Councilors Julie Olson and Jeanne Stewart, and County Chair Marc Boldt, no party preference, all spoke highly of McCauley’s work at the county and supported his new contract.

Republican Councilor David Madore, meanwhile, said he had “grave concerns” about granting McCauley a new contract. Republican Councilor Tom Mielke was on vacation.

Madore’s concerns, however, were nothing he hadn’t said before. His last-ditch effort to convince his fellow councilors to open the county manager position for applications failed. Madore, who was once complimentary of McCauley’s work, had also sent an email to McCauley an hour prior to the hearing, accusing him of being “openly disrespectful and insubordinate.”

“We have a candidate that is competing against himself,” Madore said during the council’s debate. “I feel it is inappropriate.”

But Olson called that description of the process “frankly, outrageous.” Olson pointed out that the council was considering McCauley’s contract after hiring an outside firm, Waldron, to review the then-acting county manager’s performance.

That review and following consideration of whether to keep McCauley on or fire him was contractually obligated, she said.

“He’s the person that’s the right person to be leading this organization right now,” Olson said.

Stewart lambasted Madore and Mielke for failing to facilitate an official review of McCauley earlier. The $6,750 review of McCauley is the first time his performance has been evaluated. When Madore denied that he and Mielke hadn’t reviewed McCauley, saying both had provided him with their own feedback, she became incensed.

“You had two votes to go ahead as you did with so many things,” Stewart said, pointing a finger at Madore. “The fact that there was no performance review, that it was a violation of his contract, it rests with you and Tom Mielke.”

Both Stewart and Olson received applause at the end of their testimony.

Boldt, meanwhile, sighed, glazing over Madore’s complaints and turning instead to McCauley’s accomplishments. Boldt praised McCauley for his work leading staff, and said the feedback included in McCauley’s performance review was “very impressive.”

“We are a great county, and we will become better,” Boldt said.

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