Inslee picks Renton schools leader as chief of staff

  • Thu Nov 29th, 2012 12:56pm
  • News

By Jerry Cornfield

Governor-elect Jay Inslee today announced he is hiring Renton School District Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel as his chief of staff

Heuschel is Inslee’s first hire and has already been helping out as one of the leaders of Inslee’s transition team. She is expected to be on board when he is sworn into office in January.

“She’s a really impressive leader and we’re really glad to have her on the team,” said Sterling Clifford, Inslee’s spokesman.

Also today, the Office of Financial Management began seeking proposals for a firm to help Inslee fill other key job openings.

A hat tip to Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center for steering me to the notice which begins:

The Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) is soliciting proposals to provide Executive Search Recruiting services for the administration of Governor-Elect Jay Inslee. Services will be expected to begin by December 5, 2012 and will continue until desired positions are filled. The Executive Search Recruiting Services will include advising the Governor-Elect and his transition team, recruiting qualified candidates, networking, developing scorecards, and vetting candidates.

The contract is “in an amount not to exceed $19,999.00” which is significant because it allows a firm to be chosen through a less formal competition process.

However, as the industrious Mercier noted in an email, OFM has a clause buried in another policy frowning on such maneuvers. That clause says:

Agencies shall not structure contracts, especially the dollar amounts, to avoid the competitive procurement or other requirements of the contract policies. It is not appropriate to award contracts in the amounts of $4,999 or $19,999 without budget documentation. These amounts give the appearance of avoiding either informal or formal competition, avoiding filing the contract with OFM, or of advertising it as a sole source.