Oak Harbor city administrator seeks new job
By JUSTIN BURNETT
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
July 29, 2010 · Updated 10:17 AM
The Oak Harbor City Council and Mayor Jim Slowik may soon be on the look out for a new person to lead City Hall.
City Administrator Paul Schmidt is one of three finalists for an open city manager position in Spokane Valley, a municipality just west of Spokane. Schmidt confirmed his candidacy, which was announced July 22 in a Spokane Valley media release, early Tuesday morning.
“It’s a unique opportunity that unexpectedly came up,” he said.
Schmidt, who has been the administrator in Oak Harbor since November of 2006, said he is pursuing the job for several reasons. His wife works in Cheney, a city just south of Spokane, and this would save them from constant commutes. His three daughters also live in the Spokane area.
Before coming to Oak Harbor, Schmidt, 56, was the city administrator in Cheney for seven years. Before that, he served as the city’s public works director for 13 years. That past experience, he said, makes him well qualified for the open position in Spokane Valley.
Schmidt said he is not in any way unhappy with his current post.
“I’m not shopping by any stretch,” he said.
Schmidt is currently paid about $132,000 a year, or about $11,000 a month. If he were selected for the position in Spokane Valley, he could be paid the same or up to $159,600 a year, which works out to $13,300 a month. The range is based upon experience, he said.
As a strong-mayor form of government, Oak Harbor’s administrator works directly for the mayor. If Schmidt were hired, the mayor would select a candidate of his choosing following an open recruitment process. The choice would not be official until it was confirmed by the city council, however.
Schmidt said its premature to discuss the process for his replacement because he is just one of three candidates vying for the position.
However, if he got the job he said he is bound by law to give at least two weeks notice. Any additional time would depend on how soon his new employers asked him to be there. He did not speculate on how long that could be.
Spokane Valley has been searching for a permanent new city manager since January of this year.
As of Tuesday morning, Schmidt confirmed that only Slowik had been informed that he had applied for a position in another city.
While Schmidt said the soonest he would know whether he is hired would be the second week of August, he also said he would be just as happy if he position were given to someone else.
“I won’t lose any sleep if they don’t select me because I’ve got a great job,” he said.Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Justin Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5054.