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Planning director finalists not named

Four finalists for the Island County planning director position will be grilled during a closed-door, executive session June 18.

Larry Larson, the county human resources director, said the commissioners originally picked six applications to go through the interview process, but two dropped out.

More than 40 people from across the country applied for the job, which has a base salary of just over $72,000 a year. Larson said he couldn’t name the finalists, but he did say that three of them have ties to the Puget Sound region.

A panel of county officials will interview the candidates. The panel will consist of the three commissioners, Larson, interim Planning Director Keith Higman, Public Works Director Bill Oakes and Chief Civil Prosecutor Dave Jamieson.

Larson said he doesn’t expect the commissioners to make a choice any earlier than June 22.

South Whidbey resident John McFarland volunteered his time to help with the candidate search and develop questions for the interviews. Larson said McFarland is the former Tukwila city administrator and a recognized expert in recruitment.

“I don’t know where we would be without him,” Larson said.

Jeff Tate announced his resignation as planning director Jan. 22. Higman, the health department director, took on the temporary role as leader of both departments in March.

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