Next Washington County boss to be culled from internal ranksWashington County’s next administrator will come from within, county commissioners said Tuesday.
By: Jon Avise, Woodbury Bulletin
Washington County’s next administrator will come from within, county commissioners said Tuesday.
County Board members voted unanimously to conduct an internal search for outgoing County Administrator Jim Schug’s replacement, and will use a search consultant to help narrow the field. Schug, the county’s top non-elected official for the past 17 years, is set to retire Jan. 26.
“There are probably good candidates on the outside, but you’re getting unknown commodities as far as leadership and that sort of thing,” said Board Chair Gary Kriesel in explaining his support of an internal search.
An external, nationwide search for Schug’s replacement was estimated to cost up to $18,000, said Kay McAloney, the county’s human resources director. The internal search is expected to cost roughly $10,000 less, she said.
McAloney will present a list of possible search consultants to the board at a meeting next week.
“I think we’ve got [department directors] who are extremely qualified,” said Commissioner Lisa Weik of Woodbury. Later, she added: “I know that Jim Schug himself has selected his department heads with an eye toward advancement.”
Commissioner Autumn Lehrke of Cottage Grove, who represents south Washington County, agreed, saying she is a “firm believer in promoting from within.”
Despite selecting from a smaller pool of internal candidates, officials said a consultant was needed to avoid possible conflicts of interest in county employees helping select their future boss.
“While I’d love to pick my next boss … it could be a conflict and could be uncomfortable,” McAloney told commissioners.