The Richland Public Facilities District Board has five applications for the interim executive director job at the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, but would like some more.
The board met Monday and approved the job description, noting there are six days left before the Nov. 28 application deadline.
One applicant is David Samples of Richland, formerly with the Tri-City and Olympia Railroad and a consultant at Hanford. Samples introduced himself at the board meeting, but the names of the four other applicants were not revealed.
Kimberly Camp, who intends to leave before the end of the year, was hired in 2007 to oversee development of a 61,000-square-foot interpretive center.
Her announcement to resign came four years after she was hired and came just as the project broke ground on the first phase of what is expected to be $35 million complex in Columbia Park.
In approving the job description, the board decided to ease up on requiring skills and expertise in order to attract candidates who would be a good fit even if they couldn't meet all the qualifications.
Board member Fred Raab said skipping over someone -- such as a Bill Gates -- who had the right kind of hands-on experience and evidence of success, might be foolish just because that person didn't have a specific university degree.
"Would we say sorry, Bill (Gates), but you should've finished at Harvard?" Raab said.
Burton Vaughan, who was replaced on the board by Raab earlier this year, told the Herald on Monday that he is concerned "the board is seriously underestimating complexities of the task ahead in successfully opening (the center). ..."
"I hope the RPFD will see the wisdom of not selecting someone with limited credentials," said Vaughan, who served nine years on the facilities district board and six years on the Pacific Science Center Foundation board. "I believe improvisation or delay will be costly in the long run. Where a professional is needed, let's keep in mind that you get what you pay for."
The board previously agreed to advertise locally for an interim director for an indefinite term and then directed Camp to prepare a request for proposals for a possible national search for leadership for The Reach.
About $26 million has been raised for the center, but more fundraising is needed to cover the $40.5 million project and long-term operations.
Also Monday, the board was told there are two applicants to fill the vacancy when board president Joel Rogo resigns.
The applicants are Darby Stapp, an anthropologist in Richland, and Don Williams of Benton City, who works for Local No. 598 of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union in Pasco.
Bill King, Richland's assistant city manager, attended Monday's meeting and said the city council might decide to extend the deadline for applications, hoping to attract more candidates for the vacancy.
The facilities district board also discussed the estimated $1.4 million operations budget. About $512,000 in revenues would come from the city of Richland and $857,000 would be from facilities district revenues.
Part of the projected expenses include $675,000 for salaries and benefits.
The board has yet to adopt the budget and set a special meeting in December to get it balanced. The budget must be adopted before year's end.
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; email@example.com