By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

County names Huffer as next administrator

Yamhill County Commissioners on Tuesday surprised Deputy County Administrator Ken Huffer with a vote offering him the job as the county’s next administrator, following the end-of-year retirement of current Administrator Laura Tschabold.

Commissioners made the decision Monday during executive session, but they are not allowed to vote in closed-door sessions. That meeting was held to review the results of applicant interviews, and neither Huffer nor Tschabold was present.

Commissioners also didn’t include it in the already-prepared agenda, announcing it Tuesday morning as a surprise added issue.

After voting unanimously, they startled Huffer into laughter by asking him if he planned to accept the job.

He said he did.

“Surprisingly, it’s one of the few times I’m lost for words,” Huffer said.

County commissioner Stan Primozich noted there were 28 applicants for the job. County Commissioner Mary Starrett added the county had assembled three interview panels; one of county department heads, one of community “stakeholders,” including two former county commissioners, and one comprising the three county commissioners. The results of those interviews were discussed in Monday’s executive session.

Commissioners voted in February on a hiring process, but chose not to schedule an event to introduce candidates to the community.

Huffer has worked for the county since March 2005, starting as the division manager of the county parks and work crew program manager.

In 2014, he became the human resources manager, a position he held until June 2016, when he became the deputy county administrator.

“Due to the nature of each of these positions, I have had the unique experience of working with most of the county’s departments and built strong working relationships with elected officials, department heads, employees, volunteers, and stakeholders, as well as developed a comprehensive understanding of each department’s mission and operations,” he told the News-Register.

Huffer said he was looking forward to the new position and continuing to work with current County Administrator Laura Tschabold, who plans to retire in December.

“There is a lot to learn between now and January, but I am very fortunate to have an outstanding team to work with here at the county and an excellent mentor” in Tschabold, he said.


community interest

Must have been a very thin applicant pool. Was really hoping that we could improve the situation at the County. Another inexperienced insider.


Oh, God, stop with the "stakeholders." What a crock.


Given the employee issues in the recent years, I'm not sure his experience as HR Manager & deputy administrator is a ringing endorsement.....Hard to believe that stronger & more qualified applicants weren't available..The article states 28 applicants....I wonder how many interviews?


Another bureaucrat. Sigh...

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