Franklin County is planning to go with a company familiar to the area in its search for a new county administrator.
Commissioners agreed by consensus Wednesday to hire The Prothman Company of Issaquah — the same company Pasco used last year to find a new city manager.
“They have a little bit of advance experience with the area,” Commissioner Rick Miller said. “They can hit the ground running.”
The county will pay Prothman $24,500, plus travel expenses, for candidates to replace former County Administrator Fred Bowen.
Commissioners also selected Prothman over three other firms because of its experience in finding city and county officials within Washington.
Prothman last year helped the Pasco City Council narrow a list of 22 applicants to replace longtime City Manager Gary Crutchfield down to five finalists.
Four of the finalists appeared at a public reception in Pasco after one person withdrew. The council eventually chose Fife City Manager Dave Zabell, who later said that Prothman approached him and encouraged him to apply for the job.
Commissioners plan to place an item hiring Prothman on their May 13 consent agenda, but advised staff to ask Prothman to go ahead and start working.
“It would be nice to get some forward progress and not lose the benefit of this week,” said commission Chairman Brad Peck.
The position is being advertised as paying $116,000 to $121,000 annually.
Bowen retired from Franklin County in February after 20 years as county administrator and took a road superintendent position with Benton County’s public works department. Planning and Building Director Jerrod MacPherson has been serving as interim administrator.
Also Wednesday, commissioners:
• Opened two bids for the remodel of the county’s public safety building. Siefken & Sons Construction of Richland offered to do the job for $391,542, including sales tax, while Industrial Constructors bid $412,028. Commissioners are expected to decide on a contractor next week.
• Announced that Peck and Miller will take part in a meeting May 8 to choose a replacement for Rep. Susan Fagan, R-Pullman, who resigned last week.
The meeting is 2 p.m. at the Whitman County Public Service Building in Colfax. It will include commissioners from Adams, Asotin, Garfield, Spokane and Whitman counties. Commissioner Bob Koch has another meeting to attend that day.
Fagan, a Pullman Republican, resigned after allegations she submitted improper travel reimbursements.
Applications for the appointment were not made public. Locally, Former Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim announced he planned to apply.
Republic precinct committee members are expected to narrow the applications to three candidates for the commissioners to choose from. If the commissioners can’t agree, then Gov. Jay Inslee will appoint a replacement. The person then will have to run for election in a few months.
Election filing is next week.