Madore to fellow councilors: Follow equal employment policies

Toward the end of the Clark County council’s board time meeting Wednesday, Councilor David Madore with little fanfare passed out a document titled “Appeal to fulfill the best practices as an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.”

Ah. This dead horse.

In the three-page letter, Madore urges his fellow councilors to consider opening Acting County Manager Mark McCauley’s job to other applicants in order to comply with federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws.

“One applicant, a qualified disabled woman, has already been denied the opportunity to apply,” Madore wrote. “A member of the county council informed the local media that he threw her application in the trash.”

I wonder where Madore read that.

“Clark County has also not welcomed any other applicants,” Madore wrote, with no mention that this job isn’t open for hire at the moment. “Numerous potential candidates, who would otherwise have the fair opportunity to apply, will likely not apply, due to the awkward situation created by the interim county manager who told county directors that no one else should apply because, unless things change, he alone has the exclusive claim on that opportunity.”

That would be an awkward position. Except it didn’t happen, McCauley said, calling Madore’s explanation a “blatant lie.”

McCauley explained that all he’s said to anyone is the council approved a 360-review of his performance at the county. The council will then use that as the basis to open his position or offer him an extension pursuant to his existing contract.

Furthermore, whether extending McCauley’s contract is a good idea or a bad idea, his existing contract allows for a year extension following a review. Regardless of what direction Clark County moves in, they are contractually obligated to review McCauley.

Deputy Prosecutor Chris Horne recently advised the council that not taking applications right now is not a violation of equal employment laws. Then again, we know how much Madore values Horne’s advice.

Madore, by the way, voted to support that contract back in 2014.

“Clark County is in very good hands,” Madore posted on his Facebook on Nov. 20, 2014. “Our top leader, Mark McCauley has been doing an excellent job running the day to day operations of the county since our previous administrator retired last year.

“It would be natural, healthy, and the expectation would be for all qualified candidates to apply if the Board of Councilors followed the practices expected by an Equal Employment Opportunity employer,” Madore went on in this newest document. “But it would be considered embarrassing, self-serving, disrespectful, inconsiderate, and relationship-damaging for all well-qualified potential candidates, who hold local positions that deal with the interim acting county manager, to apply against the wishes of that same person.”

Madore then went on to list some specific individuals who might make excellent county managers: Community Services Director Vanessa Gaston, Southwest Washington Agency on Aging’s director David Kelly, and Mark Wilston, whose name is actually Mark Wilsdon, and he manages risk management for Clark County General Services.

I made phone calls to the three individuals listed. Kelly is on vacation and his bemused secretary told me she wasn’t aware Kelly was interested. Wilsdon never returned my phone call. A clearly flustered Gaston – understandably, given that as of Friday Clark and Skamania counties became the first to fully integrate Medicaid services, a process which Gaston has overseen – told me she does not want to get caught in the middle of any of this.

You can read the whole letter on The Grid.

Kaitlin Gillespie

Kaitlin Gillespie

I'm the education reporter at The Columbian. Get in touch at or 360-735-4517.

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