Another win for Chairman Ganley

The meeting mavens would like to offer up a resolution that Battle Ground City Councilor Bill Ganley be named chairman of every single board he serves on. Not only can the high school teacher keep a crowd calm, but he passes on the easy cheap shots like a true gentleman. When he needs to point out the obvious, however, he does it in a nice way.

Take the May 7 meeting of the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council. On the agenda was approving a contract with a consulting service for up to $30,000 to find a replacement for executive director Dean Lookingbill, who is retiring.

Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke asked why they were hiring a consulting service when the county has a great human resources department. Now, picture every member of the board except Commissioner David Madore from having to bite their lip so they didn’t say something like, “Well, why not? After all, they must have extra time on their hands since you didn’t use them to find a director of Environmental Services.”

Maybe nobody mentioned Don Benton, who serves on the board in his capacity as a state senator, because he wasn’t at the meeting and it’s not nice to talk about people behind their backs. (None of the other state lawmakers on the board attended, either.)

Ganley calmly pointed out that the RTC is not a county department; it’s a separate organization.

Vancouver City Councilor Jack Burkman said the city uses experts to conduct wide searches for high-level positions. Even the city’s human resources department hires consultants, he said. Camas City Councilor Melissa Smith agreed, saying her city’s human resources department relies on executive search firms to do extensive recruiting.

Vancouver City Councilor Jeanne Stewart asked who drafted the request for proposals. Lookingbill said the board approved the approach in April. Ganley said his city has used outside help to recruit city managers.

Talking to Stewart, Ganley said, “And I just want to say that two of our former city managers (Eric Holmes and David Mercier) are now employed by your city. I want to note that.”


The motion to hire a consultant for an executive search was unanimously approved.

To watch the discussion, click here and then click on “Consulting services for executive search process.”

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at or 360-735-4508.

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