Choices abound for planning director

Island County commissioners will begin the process of choosing a new planning director from among more than 40 applicants Monday.

The commissioners are scheduled to meet in a closed-door session Monday to evaluate the qualifications of those who applied.

Commissioner John Dean said Human Resources Director Larry Larsen picked eight applicants who qualify for the position, but the commissioners want to double check all the applications to make sure no one was overlooked.

“It sounds like we have a great field of candidates to start with,” Dean said.

Former Planning Director Jeff Tate quit earlier this year to help take care of his ailing parents. Since then, Keith Higman has been overseeing two big county departments as the director of the Health Department and the interim director of planning.

Dean said he hopes to narrow the field to the top three candidates and invite the community to meet them in an open session. He wants to make a final choice in the next 30 days, but it depends on logistics and whether the three commissioners can agree on an individual.

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