Interview process beginning for next Sutter County chief administrator
The process of finding a new, permanent Sutter County chief administrative officer is still in its earliest stages, with the Board of Supervisors interviewing two candidates Monday and setting up more to come.
Current board chairman Larry Munger said the board is looking at candidates both inside and outside the county for the role, which was vacated earlier this year by retiring CAO Stephanie Larsen.
"We won't even be close until January," Munger said after the board interviewed one candidate at 8 a.m. Monday, then another at 1 p.m. "We've got the backgrounds to get, all the checks to do. The hardest part is just getting everyone together."
In addition to coordinating with the candidates' schedules, he said, the board has to find a time that all five supervisors can meet outside of their regular commitments and personal and professional lives.
Each interview is scheduled to take about two hours, Munger said. The board has another one scheduled for Wednesday, one in early December, and a fifth as yet unscheduled.
Among the topics that supervisors are quizzing the candidates on are their working relationship with the board, public and department heads; budgeting; new ideas; and experience and qualifications. Many have commented that compared to many public agencies, the county's finances are in decent shape, Munger said.
"Thank God we've been a conservative county," he said, referring to budgeting. "But these people know they have to work with our employees and the unions. It'll really come down to leadership and someone we can work with."
Patty Leland, a senior personnel analyst with the county's human resources department, said she couldn't confirm the number of candidates, citing policy on personnel issues and noting the candidates may not have informed their current bosses they're looking at other jobs.
The board's interviews are closed session meetings, though public notices for them must be published beforehand.
"We'd like to get someone as soon as possible," she said. "It's all going to depend on the candidates and finding the right person."
Munger said the board is aming to hire a permanent CAO by January, possibly before board reorganization, which will include Supervisor Larry Montna, who is retiring, stepping down.
Interim County Administrative Officer Shawne Corley, who was previously under Larsen, will remain in the position until there's a replacement, Munger said, adding the county is pleased with how she's done. He did not say whether she's a candidate for the permanent position.