Weather Forecast


County almost back to square one in coordinator search

By Tom Larson

Sun Tribune

Stevens County's search for a new county coordinator has moved -- almost -- back to square one.

The board held second interviews with two finalists on Tuesday, but the board consensus was that neither fit their requirements as a successor to Jim Thoreen, who retires at the end of May.

The board voted to have letters sent to four of the five finalists stating that they would not be considered for the coordinator's job.

The board also instructed Thoreen to work out details of an arrangement with County Engineer Brian Giese that would allow Giese to handle the coordinator's job on an interim basis.

The draft proposal is expected to be presented to the board at its meeting Tuesday.

Giese said he would be open to taking the interim position if a job description can be designed to not strain his professional and personal lives.

"With the county's best interests in mind, I'm willing to go the extra mile," Giese said.

Commissioners also stated that they may want to review applications submitted by 27 original candidates who were not chosen as finalists.

The board also may review its job description for the job and discuss whether the county may attract more experienced candidates if it switches to an administrative position, which would give the candidate more power over county operations.

If Giese accepts the interim position, the county would expect to again advertise for job applicants this fall.

Michael Brethorst, a Veterans Affairs administrator and former Administrator for the City of Barnesville, was the first choice for the job but he declined the offer.

The board re-interviewed finalists Marc Dennison and Rhoda Smith.

While the county board members said that both candidates had specific strengths but did not meet all the qualifications they wanted to see in a coordinator.

"I'm not convinced we have our answer yet," said commissioner Paul Watzke.