Questions remain about new position for former sheriff

Thank you for providing the front page article on the hiring of a “senior policy analyst” by County Executive Dave Somers. (“Fortney decries hire of ex-sheriff as ‘political payback,’” The Herald, Feb 11). It was well written and balanced. Keep up the good work!

Allow me to share some follow up thoughts and suggestions for developing further detail. Based on the facts I would initially agree with Sheriff Adam Fortney that this appears to be a form of “political payback.” I would suggest additional clarification in two areas:

1. Was this “senior policy analyst” position being considered prior to the election? If so is there any documentation of this prior to the election, perhaps a memo job description. This also begs the question: Where did Somers come up with $148,100 in discretionary income? Was it budgeted or moved from another budget bucket?

2. Was the senior policy analyst position posted so others could apply and be interviewed in a standard hiring practice? I have worked in management in the insurance industry for many years and believe posting a job opening is the right thing to do as it allows for others to apply with the end goal of filling the position with the best possible candidate. I’m left wondering if Somers also interviewed any diverse candidates for this position.

Based on the timing and Somers’s actions I can see why Fortney might feel “shell games with taxpayers money” are at play here. I would also agreed that this is not how government should work. As a concerned taxpayer I believe additional follow up is needed, not from spokesperson Kent Patton but directly from Somers.

Chris Morgan

Snohomish

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