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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Council OKs review of acting county manager

Councilor Madore’s bid to open position for applications fails

By Katie Gillespie, Columbian Education Reporter
Published: March 8, 2016, 7:11pm

After a short but heated debate, a divided Clark County council voted Tuesday to pursue an independent review of Acting County Manager Mark McCauley.

By a vote of 3 to 2 — with Republican Councilors Julie Olson and Jeanne Stewart and Chair Marc Boldt, no party preference, in the majority — the council at its meeting approved a $6,750 contract with Seattle-based firm Waldon to review the interim manager’s performance.

But Councilor David Madore, a Republican, urged the council to open the position for applications.

“We need to model our responsibilities, our best practices as an equal employment opportunity provider,” Madore said.

“Appoint a white male without allowing a female or race or any others, disability, or anyone else, to even apply, and we end up with a lawsuit,” he continued.

Madore moved that the council open the position for applications, but other councilors and Deputy Prosecutor Chris Horne said that item was not included in the council agenda and could not be considered Tuesday. Though Republican Councilor Tom Mielke seconded the motion, it died when the other three councilors refused to vote.

It appears whether the council chooses to consider other applicants or not, it must still formally evaluate the county manager. McCauley’s contract, approved in Dec. 2014, requires that the council review his performance each October.

McCauley’s contract runs through the end of this year and can be extended up to an additional year once a review is completed, but the council must make a decision whether to keep him or not by June 30.

“We owe it to the community, we owe it to this organization and we owe it to Mr. McCauley to give him an appropriate review and let him know whether he is the person we want to extend the contract to,” Olson said.

The county has never formally reviewed McCauley’s performance, the county manager said Tuesday.

Madore also implied that McCauley had prior knowledge of the official decision, citing an email the county manager had sent to Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes regarding the review, saying the council had decided to move forward with that process.

“The question is, when was that decision made?” Madore asked McCauley.

“The board actually hasn’t decided,” McCauley said. “They’re making that decision under advisement this morning. There were informal discussions about the methodology, but a decision is being made today.”

Boldt later said he and McCauley have discussed his contract in one-on-one meetings with each other, and the full board has discussed the issue in executive session.

McCauley later told The Columbian that to say the board had “decided” on anything was a mistake, but that the council has been discussing this matter for several weeks. However, he denied Madore’s implications of misconduct.

“I’m not engineering this (review),” McCauley said. “This is a council thing, not a county manager thing. I’m a cork in a creek. I’m just bobbing down the river.”

Columbian Education Reporter