Camas seeking new city administrator

City Council agrees to bump top staffer salary scale up 10%

Camas is seeking a permanent city administrator to help lead the city’s day-to-day business.

The new hire will be the third person to fill the city’s top staffing position since former city administrator Pete Capell retired in January 2020. Capell’s replacement, Jamal Fox, announced his resignation in May 2021, less than one year after his hire and just a few weeks after Barry McDonnell, the mayor who hired Fox, announced his own surprise resignation from city politics. In July 2021, Camas City Council members approved an interim city administrator contract with Jeff Swanson, a former Battle Ground city manager and contract community development director for the city of La Center in north Clark County.

Now, the city hopes to find a permanent city administrator to work alongside Mayor Steve Hogan to oversee the city’s 240 employees and guide Camas’ daily operations.

“Our new city administrator is a strategic thinker who easily sees the big picture and long-term vision for Camas,” the city’s recruitment brochure stated. “Considered a true community ambassador, the successful candidate leads by example and is fully invested in Camas’ growth and success.”

The city’s recruitment calls for candidates with at least seven years of “progressively responsible experience in municipal government, including five years of administrative or leadership responsibility … a well-rounded background with prior leadership experience in a growing community and similar size organization that includes public safety … an exceptional ability to develop effective relationships with a history of working closely with a mayor and city council (and) a strong understanding of budgets and financial management.”

The new hire will be expected to live in Camas and “pledge to participate in community affairs,” according to the city’s recruitment brochure.

The position will pay between $165,000 and $198,000 per year, depending on the candidate’s qualifications, and comes with a complete benefits package that includes a state pension.

Camas councilmembers voted unanimously on Feb. 22 to increase the pay scale for the city administrator position, bumping the current range of $150,000 to $179,000 per year up to the advertised $165,000 to $198,000 range.

Jennifer Gorsuch, the city’s administrative services director, told the city council during its Feb. 22 meeting that, prior to beginning the city administrator recruitment process, the city’s pay scale had been reviewed and found to be low.

“Based on the current market and the (city’s) desire to have a seasoned city administrator, we feel this resolution (bumping the pay scale up 10 percent) is necessary,” Gorsuch said.

The new salary range bumps the top step of the city’s pay scale up to $16,500 per month.

The city’s hiring brochure notes that women and people of color “are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they can perform every job description task,” and encourages applicants who have “any equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education and experience to meet minimum qualifications” to apply.

The city has contracted with Raftelis, an Ohio-based recruitment firm to help find Camas’ next city administrator. Applications will be accepted electronically at raftelis.hire.trakstar.com through 5 p.m. April 3.