It may cost the city of Oak Harbor as much as $25,000 to find a new city attorney.
During a meeting last Wednesday, the city council approved a motion authorizing the mayor to sign a professional service agreement with a headhunting firm, Seattle-area Prothman Company, to recruit a city attorney.
The contract is for $18,500 plus expenses, which city officials estimate will be a total cost in the range of $22,000 to $25,000.
The city’s human resource department advertised for the open position in August and September, but no qualified applicants came forward. In response, Mayor Scott Dudley suggested the city hire a professional recruiting firm; the council unanimously agreed.
City government has been in a state of upheaval since Mayor Scott Dudley came into office in January and fired a series of department heads.
He fired City Attorney Margery Hite and replaced her with Assistant City Attorney Bill Hawkins. He fired Hawkins a few months later.
Prothman guaranteed that if the successful candidate is terminated for cause or resigns within a year of employment date, the company will conduct a replacement search for no additional fee.