Council hires administrator


County reporter

Odds are good that Pete Rose will tackle the job of administrator of San Juan County.

No, not the Pete Rose whose appetite for gambling relegated him to Major League Baseball's hall of shame.

But rather Donald "Pete" Rose, city manager of Woodinville, Wash., who became heir apparent for the job following a unanimous decision last week by the County Council.

Now in his eighth year with Woodinville, Rose supervises seven departments, about 64 full-time employees and an annual operating budget of roughly $9.5 million. He answers to a city council of seven elected officials. Located in King County, Woodinville has a population of roughly 9,500 and covers roughly six square miles.

On June 8, The council picked Rose as the person best suited to manage the day-to-day business of county government following interviews behind closed doors with the final four candidates. He edged out runner-up Mark Weinstein, former administrator of Inglewood, Calif., for the job.

"We had four very good finalists," Council Chairman Alan Lichter said. "I felt that Pete was the best fit with what we need in this county at this point in time."

The two other candidates were Richard Grout, former county planning director and manager of state Ecology's Bellingham bureau, and Ken Halvorsen, city manager of Camas, Wash.

Licther said Rose outshined the competition largely because of his experience with the state Growth Management Act and understanding of local issues, like the lack of affordable housing. His Council colleagues, Bob Myhr and Kevin Ranker, followed Lichter's lead after being equally impressed by Weinstein and Rose.

"He's the guy who stands in the background and gets things done," Lichter said of Rose. "I was impressed by his knowledge of our local issues and by how much homework he obviously had done."

Woodinville Mayor Cathy Van Wold said Woodinville has flourished despite many challenges largely because of Rose's ability to grasp regional issues and how they might affect the city.

"'Very cerebral' is probably the best way to describe him," Van Wold said. "He's an excellent communicator and an excellent educator, and the hardest worker I've ever known. We're going to miss him."

Pending salary negotiations, Rose is expected to join the county in late July. He reportedly earns $126,000 a year in Woodinville and the county budgeted up to $125,000 for the job this year. Waldon and Company, the Seattle-based recruiting firm which generated a list of qualified candidates, will negotiate on behalf of the county because the position of human resources manager has yet to be filled, Licther said.

Rose, Woodinville's fifth manager since its incorporation in 1993, began his career in public service as administrative services manager with the city of Salem, Ore., fire department in 1985. Before joining Woodinville, Rose was city manager of Medical Lake, Wash., a suburb of Spokane, from 1994-1999. He managed the town Quincy, Wash., for one year before becoming manager of Medical Lake.

The 58-year-old Santa Rosa, Calif., native holds a master's degree in government from California State University in Sacramento and a bachelor's degree in political science/public service from UC Davis. Rose and his wife, Cynthia, have a daughter and a son.

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