With the new home rule charter now in effect, County Administrator Mark McCauley has assumed his role as acting county manager under an agreement approved in late December by the Board of County Commissioners.
The county’s charter was approved by voters in November 2014. It expands the current three member commission to a five member council. The charter went into effect Jan. 1, but the new council members won’t start until January 2016.
Sitting commissioners (now council members) Tom Mielke and David Madore will each fulfill their current terms, which expire at the end of 2016, while Jeanne Stewart’s, who was elected in November 2014, expires Dec. 31, 2018.
The two new seats, both three-year terms, will be part of the 2015 primary and general elections. One council member — the chairperson — will be elected countywide, while the second will be elected from District 2.
McCauley will handle duties assigned to the acting county manager until the county council is seated and can act on the appointment early in 2016.
In a press release, Mielke said McCauley works well with elected officials and county employees at all levels and has the added advantage of expertise and experience in the challenges of county finance.
“Mark’s done a great job as county administrator. He also has an impressive track record in his previous positions with the county,” Mielke said. “We look forward to having him onboard to work through many details during the first year of the charter.”
The board set McCauley’s salary at $163,100 for 2015. He made $145,000 annually as county administrator.
McCauley became county administrator following the retirement of Bill Barron in September 2013. He also has served as the county’s director of general services and administrative services manager for public works, after joining public works as finance manager in 2001 and later becoming a certified public accountant.
He earned a master’s degree in business administration from Syracuse University and holds bachelor’s degrees in business and accounting from Washington State University.
He settled in the county’s unincorporated area near Ridgefield after serving 20 years in the U.S. Army.
“I grew up in a military family, and life has taken me all over the world. After my career in the Army, my wife and I picked Clark County to be our home for the long haul,” McCauley said. “We love it here, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to continue serving our community at this important time in our history.”
The charter makes several other major changes to county government.
It limits the county council’s duties to legislative issues, while giving administrative duties to an appointed county manager.
The county council deals with budget, legislative and policy issues, and the county manager focuses on implementation of those policies and administrative issues.
The charter also adds initiative and referendum powers, and it calls for a periodic review and potential amendment of the charter, the first coming five years after approval and at least every decade thereafter.
For more information about the charter, visit www.clark.wa.gov.