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Film commission may gain new director


Tuolumne County supervisors yesterday delayed hiring a new executive director for the county Film Commission until next week's meeting.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Thornton wanted to know why he didn't get a resume for prospective director Jerry Day.

County Administrator Brent Wallace said the Film Commission is responsible for hiring an executive director, and it has chosen Day, but supervisors must approve his hire. If approved, he'll work as an independent contractor for $36,000 a year, without benefits.

Of the Film Commission's seven directors, six recommended Day's hire. Jay Newington, the dissenter, had himself applied for the director position, and quit the board yesterday.

"When I announced my candidacy for this position, I pledged to my fellow board members that I would humbly defer to any candidate who was obviously more experienced and qualified for the position than myself," Newington told supervisors, reading from his letter of resignation. "Unfortunately, I can no longer serve on this board, because to do so would be an endorsement for the candidate who was selected."

Later, Newington said he didn't want to verbally attack Day because he believes him to be capable. But Newington also believes his own 25 years of professional film experience should not go unheeded.

Day and Newington later met by chance outside the meeting and shook hands.

"It's a personnel issue, not personal," Newington told Day.

"I understand," Day said.

"I think it's too bad because Jay's been a marvelous volunteer," said film Commissioner Dick Robertson. "He's done the executive director job on a volunteer basis for several months — it's kind of a shame that it worked out that way."

But Robertson said he understands why Newington is upset he wasn't chosen for the job.

"I guess he would be, having done the job for so long," he said.

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