After months of reviewing applications and preliminary interviews, Blaine city staff have narrowed the field of potential public works directors down to four.
Initially, 29 applications for the position came in from across the country, Blaine city manager Gary Tomsic said. City officials have paid a hiring firm approximately $18,000 to conduct the nationwide search and help organize interviews.
Tomsic conducted phone interviews last week with eight semifinalists and narrowed the field down to four. These finalists will visit Blaine on February 10 for a tour of the city and a day’s worth of interviews with numerous city staff and city council members.
Three panels will interview each candidate and report back to Tomsic with their impressions. Tomsic will make the final decision on the new public works director with help from the mayor and the city council in the coming weeks.
While he could not go into much detail on the identities of the candidates, Tomsic said one is from Whatcom County, one is from California and the remaining two are from other cities in Washington.
City officials began the search for a new public works director in October when former director Steve Banham left for a job with the city of Lynden. Banham had been Blaine’s public works director for just more than nine years.