Thursday, September 28, 2023

York County Hires Firm to Find New County Administrator

The York County Board of Supervisors at its Dec. 16 meeting (Marie Albiges/WYDaily)
Interim County Administrator Mark Carter (far left) and the York County Board of Supervisors at their Dec. 16 meeting (Marie Albiges/WYDaily)

York County has chosen the same firm James City County used to find its new county administrator to fill the spot of James “Mac” McReynolds, who died in October after serving as York County’s administrator for 13 years.

The county’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to use the services of Colin Baenziger & Associates to conduct a nationwide executive search for county administrator candidates.

James City County officials took nearly nine months to name Bryan Hill as its new administrator after firing Robert Middaugh in November 2013.

During the first round of advertising for the position, Colin Baenziger & Associates received 54 applications for Middaugh’s vacant spot. The James City County Board of Supervisors originally expected to hire someone by early June, but asked Colin Baenziger to readvertise the position in May, hiring Hill in August.

York County will pay $23,500 for the firm’s services, which include up to six background searches on candidates the board feels is worthy of further consideration, County Attorney James Barnett wrote in a memorandum to the board.

If the county desires more background checks on the candidates, the contract price will rise to $25,000.

The board chose to forego issuing a request for proposals from firms in order to cut the process down by several months by hiring Colin Baenziger & Associates through a cooperative procurement with James City County, which allows other localities to hire the firm under similar terms.

Barnett said in the memo the $23,500 contract rate was “competitive” with what similar firms are charging other localities.

The consulting firm, owned and operated by Colin Baenziger, is headquartered in Palm Beach City, Fla. and is often involved in operational reviews of governmental operations, its website indicates.

Baenziger’s company has conducted searches for local government clients in 13 states and has worked with Loudoun County and the City of Roanoke, as well as several other localities across the country.

J. Mark Carter, who previously served as assistant county administrator, was named interim county administrator shortly after McReynolds’ death. He told WYDdaily on Tuesday he was “not a candidate” in the county administrator search.

Barnett said Baenziger was planning to meet with supervisors individually to discuss traits they would like to see in a candidate and their vision for a national advertising plan.

Baenziger will then narrow down the applications and present them to the board, who will narrow them down further and eventually invite the finalists to York County to speak with the board and any interested citizens.

Barnette said the entire process could take four to six months.

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