CAO search narrows to five finalists

July 25, 2002 11:00 pm

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Interviews between five finalists vying to be Calaveras County's next administrative officer and the Board of Supervisors were to be done today.

Interim Administrative Officer Clay Hawkins said Thursday that the interviews were to end about 2 p.m.

He also said it could be a while before the next person to oversee county operations is chosen.

"(Supervisors) may select somebody, or they may pool it down to a smaller group and do the interviews again," Hawkins said.

Once supervisors agree on whom they want to hire, Hawkins said, the ensuing background check will last about four weeks.

However, because of planned vacations by some supervisors, scheduling a second round of interviews could take a few weeks if the board does not agree on a finalist, Hawkins said. Only the candidate who emerges victorious from the second round of interviews would be subject to a month-long background check.

"At this point they haven't given me a date when they'd want to re-interview," Hawkins said.

Because Calaveras County is a smaller, more rural venue than most, Hawkins said supervisors will pay close attention to candidates' "people skills."

"When you are in a smaller agency, you have a smaller audience that you are dealing with more repetitively," Hawkins said.

"Like any other job, you're looking for educational background, experience, past types of employment history, basic fundamental management skills and administrative skills."

Hawkins said he could not disclose information about the candidates.

Of the nine candidates who were interviewed by a screening committee in May, County Human Resources Director Francine Osborn, who is overseeing the job search, has said that two are foothills residents and all but one live in California. One lives in Oregon.

The position of county administrative officer has been open since April, when Brent Harrington left the job to work for the Regional Council of Rural Counties.