08/05/2021

Franklin County WA administrator’s potential back on agenda

Franklin County Commissioner Clint Didier strategies Tuesday to yet again elevate the concern of firing the county administrator.

It would be the third attempt to oust Administrator Keith Johnson in a lot less than two months. And it comes just after a tense exchange involving the 3-member board last week.

If productive, it could charge the county at the very least $70,000 below the terms of his contract attained by the Herald.

The matter was not detailed on the publicly posted April 13 assembly agenda on the Franklin County internet site.

But Didier advised the Herald on Monday that he planned to abide by as a result of with his assure last 7 days to go on the dialogue and he up to date Tuesday’s agenda.

Didier in the beginning built a motion Feb. 23 to fire Johnson adhering to a closed-doorway government session but the shift was not supported at the time by Commissioners Brad Peck and Rocky Mullen.

Then at the conclude of the April 6 night conference, Mullen moved to hearth Johnson.

Franklin Administrator Johnson.jpg
Keith Johnson

That led to a testy exchange, with Peck defending Johnson and cautioning the board against a hasty transfer to dismiss somebody with Johnson’s know-how and working experience.

Mullen and Peck voted to desk the motion. Didier opposed ready.

“It was tabled last week,” Didier stated on Monday. “It wants to be brought up all over again.”

The commissioners satisfy at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Franklin County Courthouse. Persons can check out the conference on the county’s webpage or on YouTube.

Administrator’s deal

Johnson, a former Idaho official, joined Franklin County in 2015 following longtime administrator, Fred Bowen, remaining to choose a occupation as a highway superintendent with Benton County’s general public works section.

The county administrator’s responsibilities involve assisting with budgeting and reporting to the commissioners in addition to overseeing the county departments that really don’t have an elected formal in cost. That contains community operates, setting up and planning and human resources.

Franklin organization chart.JPG

Johnson has a regulation degree from the University of Denver and is a certified general public accountant in Idaho. He served as the director of Section of Administration in Idaho ahead of getting a task with Oracle.

The most modern resolution approving the conditions of his work was signed in January 2020. It set his foundation wage at just in excess of $141,000 with eligibility for price of dwelling will increase.

If he is fired without bring about, the county have to pay out 6 months salary, claims the agreement.

It’s not distinct no matter if the commissioners would battle that payment.

Opposition and assistance

While Didier did not want to get into specifics on Monday, he said there have been a assortment of concerns going on at the rear of the scenes that led him to lose trust in Johnson.

He claimed they revolve close to “leadership, administration and interaction.”

didier
Clint Didier

Didier also experienced a difficulty with studying just after the actuality about sure companies opening in the county.

“I really don’t consider it’s way too ideal that I find out about a Costco coming to Franklin County from the (Herald),” he explained.

The Herald documented on March 21 that Costco officials were being in negotiations to develop a retail outlet in west Pasco.

If the county administrator is doing work on 50 initiatives, Didier said he would like to know what individuals assignments are.

Didier reported he believes he has long gone out of his way to fulfill with Johnson in the course of his virtually 3 several years on the board.

Mullen and Peck could not be reached Monday about the issue.

Rocky Mullen.jpg
Rocky Mullen

Mullen complained at final week’s assembly that Johnson has offered him “no direction” about what is likely on in the county.

Nonetheless, Peck manufactured apparent his opposition to the go, indicating at the time that Johnson is just one of the greatest administrators in Washington state.

“If you allow Mr. Johnson go, fantastic luck locating anyone as proficient and capable and credentialed,” he mentioned.

mug Brad Peck
Brad Peck

Reactions from the general public and other elected county officials who operate with Johnson and the commissioners have been combined.

Sheriff Jim Raymond stayed away from commenting on Johnson’s capabilities but pointed out in a Fb article that the commissioners’ workplaces are just 15 feet from Johnson’s workplace.

Responding to Raymond’s submit, Clerk Michael Killian mentioned, “Keith is a consummate total-time county administrator. He is a potent advocate for Franklin County and he has brought substantially desired expertise and professionalism to the county. He has an open doorway policy, and I have never had any challenges discussing issues connected to the Clerks business office.”

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and schooling for the Tri-City Herald, in which he tries to answer readers’ questions about why law enforcement officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He examined communications at Washington State College.