Benton-Franklin human services chief leaving

By Sara Schilling, Tri-City HeraldMarch 19, 2014 

The Benton-Franklin human services department will be getting a new leader.

Ed Thornbrugh, the administrator, is stepping down to become vice president of Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health in Yakima. His last day is March 28.

Thornbrugh spent about two years as the bicounty department's deputy director before taking over the administrator post in 2010.

He was picked for the job by commissioners from the two counties in an unanimous vote.

During a joint meeting Wednesday, Benton and Franklin commissioners praised Thornbrugh's work and said they were sorry to see him go.

"Thank you for bringing us this far forward in the last (several) years," said Franklin County Commissioner Bob Koch during the session.

Benton Commissioner Shon Small said afterward that Thornbrugh will leave behind big shoes to fill, but that he has assembled a strong staff, putting the department in a good position.

Thornbrugh said it was a tough decision to step away, and he thanked commissioners for placing him in the administrator post. He recommended a few specific staffers in his department to run point on key areas during the transition.

The human services department provides direct services, including through the bicounty Crisis Response Unit and the Coordinated Entry System that's a one-stop intake for housing programs, and it also coordinates the provision of a range of other human services in the area.

The administrator job has been posted, with a salary of $5,959 to $7,734 per month.

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