Steve Mokrohiski, Manager, Douglas County, Nevada
Lane County’s Board of Commissioners authorized its Human Resource Director Howard Schussler to offer a contract for the County Administrator job to Steve Mokrohiski on February 27. I voted in favor of the authorization along with Commissioners Pete Sorenson, Faye Stewart and Jay Bozievich. Sid Leiken cited a short selection process as his reason for voting against the majority.
Mokrohiski is an excellent choice for the position. His background includes serving as senior adviser in Milwaukie, Wiconsin, County and currently as County Manager in Douglas County, Nevada.
The process for selection involved a nationwide search conducted The Prothman Company which resulted in 26 qualified applicants.
Commissioners had narrowed its list of finalists to five before the extensive interview and discussion process. Two panels made up of staff, government officials, union chiefs, District Attorney Alex Gardner, Sheriff Tom Turner and County Assessor Mike Cowles conducted separate interviews.
Prior to the Commissioners’ final discussion, held in executive session, all county department heads gave input and advise in a closed session with the Commission.
I am pleased with the process used in this selection and confident that the extensive time spent in research, discussion and deliberation have given Lane County an excellent choice in a new administrator.
I spoke with Mr. Mokrohiski after Schussler had presented him with the terms of his contract. He told me that he will spend time discussing the offer with his wife and family before rendering his final decision on acceptance.
His current board has expressed a strong desire to keep him in his current job, and I expect that they will make him a lucrative offer to stay in Douglas (Nevada) County. I anticipate hearing from him soon.
His orientation period will be aggressive, spending structured and detailed time with department heads and their staff, with other local government managers and with individual Commissioners touring and familiarizing with their five districts.
His job will not be an easy one. I outlined five areas that he will be expected to demonstrate skills and aptitude:
1. Trust: establishing and maintaining a strong relationship with staff, other local jurisdiction managers and our community.
2. Budget management and innovation: leading the county through what have been rapidly diminishing general fund dollars due to decreased federal O&C lands timber harvest payments.
3. Leadership: a broad term that involves facilitating the best manager/staff/community teamwork.
4. Communication: ability and propensity to inform and be informed.
5. Understanding of local and Oregon laws and processes.
I look forward to working closely with Mr. Mokrohiski and with the Board of Commissioners and staff, leading the county in the coming years of economic growth, stability and service excellence.