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County Chief of Staff

Posted on 20th October 2017 at 08:31

The County Commissioners are moving ahead with the hiring of a “county administrator”-type of person, announcing that an offer has been extended to former County Commissioner Axel Swanson, offering him the position as “Chief of Staff.” Current Commission Chair Joe Gardner says that Swanson has accepted the contract terms being offered, as the administrative hierarchy is shuffled. The Commissioners came to the decision to create the Chief of Staff position with the pending retirement of Finance Director Claire Hauge, who is leaving her job in January of next year. To make sure that Swanson’s hire is revenue-neutral, Hauge’s position and a second position in the Office of Financial Management will NOT be filled, and she actually recommended Swanson for this new position. The Commissioners say that the creation of this position comes after years of discussion about better coordination, communication and effective decision-making among department heads. They say that most department heads will report to Swanson; elected officials won’t report to Swanson, but they will go through his office in coordination of budget expenditures and personnel decisions. Swanson currently works as the Director of Research for the Washington Association of Counties; the director of that group says that he’s excited for Swanson, saying that he’s well-prepared for a position of this sort. The Commissioners will consider Swanson’s contract at next Tuesday’s meeting.