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Placer County CEO selection moves closer

Supes to conduct interviews with candidates this week
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - The search for a new Placer County CEO is down to a shortlist of less than a dozen candidates. The county’s top managerial post has been vacant since February, after Tom Miller, the county executive officer for seven years, retired from the $250,000-a-year job. Miller had announced his retirement in early December, clearing the way for an executive search aided by a $30,000 contract with Rocklin’s Ralph Andersen & Associates. Supervisor Kirk Uhler said the county received about 50 resumes, many from “very qualified applicants.” “A number had good experience in the state,” Uhler said. “California is a unique animal and it would be good to have an administrator with experience in California.” Uhler said the process has now narrowed the field of candidates down to less than a dozen. Uhler and fellow supervisors are slated to hold a closed session to review applications for the county executive officer position during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting. The board has allocated Thursday and Friday for in-person interviews with the candidates. Candidates’ names are not being divulged by the county under an exception to the Brown Act open meeting laws, which provides for closed sessions with job candidates. The purpose of the exception is to prevent any undue embarrassment to the candidate, according to “Reporter’s Handbook on Media Law,” published by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. County spokesman Mike Fitch said Monday that the Brown Act allows closed sessions for interviews but the board will report on any actions it takes after it completes a closed session. Uhler said he was contacted by a supporter, who encouraged him to apply for the job but it isn’t something he considered. It would mean stepping down from his job in government relations with U.S. Digital Gaming. “It was flattering but not a possibility,” Uhler said. Miller retired as the fourth highest-paid executive with the county. His most recent earnings totals provided by Placer show his salary was $247,412 and total compensation was just short of $320,000. Uhler said the salary and compensation package for Miller’s successor is “negotiable.” The new CEO will provide leadership over a budget that has increased from $570 million to $765.8 million over the past seven years. At the same time the number of county employees has dropped from 2,700 to 2,300. “What’s important is to identify the right person and then figure out what we need to do to get him or her,” Uhler said. As part of the work, Andersen & Associates encouraged Placer County residents to state their thoughts on what they felt are the traits most sought after for the CEO’s post. Results from that survey have not been finalized, Fitch said.