STANISLAUS COUNTY — Stanislaus County supervisors held face-to-face interviews with three finalists for chief executive officer this week and are close to a hiring decision, the board chairman said.
Interim Chief Executive Officer Stan Risen and two external candidates were interviewed during a closed meeting Tuesday. Board Chairman Vito Chiesa said the board could hire the new CEO by weeks end.
The external candidates were not identified.
In June, former CEO Monica Nino was hired as top administrator for San Joaquin County; her last day was Aug. 16. Stanislaus County conducted a recruitment for the high-level position, which lured 24 applicants, most of them from California, said Deputy Executive Officer Nancy Bronstein.
She said the recruitment was handled by in-house staff primarily focused on California, but candidates from other states were welcome to pursue the position.
I think we had a solid pool of candidates, Chiesa said. We have qualified applicants with current and past CEO experience. With the better economy, I think people are not as afraid to consider other jobs.
Chiesa said an initial round of telephone interviews was done after the field of 24 candidates was cut to six.
The county has maintained a traditional hiring process thats closed to the public. The new CEO will manage a county with a budget exceeding $1 billion and more than 3,900 employees in 26 departments.
According to a recruitment pamphlet, the county has looked for an experienced, results-oriented leader who can set aside traditional practices and embrace innovative ways to meet the demands of customers. The CEO also will be expected to work on controlling pension costs, have good relations with the 12 employee unions and strengthen ties with other public agencies in the county.
Advertisements for the job said the salary was open and would be based on qualifications. Nino, who served less than two years as CEO, was earning a reported salary of $207,270 a year. The salary was $252,000 for her predecessor, Rick Robinson, who served eight years with the county.
Supervisor Terry Withrow said the board has not made a decision, but the three finalists were all good, qualified people.
Risen, then an assistant chief executive officer, received support from two supervisors when he was a finalist for CEO in November 2011, but the 3-2 vote went in favor of Nino, then a 20-year veteran of the CEOs office.
As interim CEO, Risen has represented the county recently in initial contract talks with unions.
My thoughts are Stan Risen has done a terrific job, and I would strongly support him, Sheriff Adam Christianson said Wednesday. The sheriff said he was not privy to the selection process and didnt know which finalist was favored for the job.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2321.