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Four to be interviewed for county administrator job

by CHAD SOKOL
Daily Inter Lake | March 31, 2021 2:00 AM

Four people vying to become Flathead County's next chief executive will have job interviews with the county commissioners in a public meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Daniel Sabolsky, Elishia Hayes, Pat Oman and Pete Melnick were identified as top candidates in a nationwide search to replace County Administrator Mike Pence, who is scheduled to retire on May 31 after 16 years on the job.

The county in early January hired a California-based recruiting firm, CPS HR Consulting, to recruit Pence's successor and selected the four finalists from dozens of applications. Pence originally planned to retire at the end of March but agreed to stay two more months while the hiring process is underway.

A brochure for the job describes the county administrator as "the lynchpin between the commissioners and 20 departments representing both elected and appointed offices" who "provides overall leadership, direction, coordination and support of the activities of the county’s workforce." The new administrator's salary will be negotiable up to $128,000.

Flathead County's human resources department didn't immediately respond Monday to inquiries about the candidates' professional backgrounds.

Online sources and news reports show Sabolsky has been the town manager of West Yellowstone since January 2016. He previously led an economic development agency in Ohio.

Hayes' LinkedIn page shows she has spent nearly a decade working for Humboldt County, California, including the past year as assistant county administrative officer. She previously spent six years as an account manager with a company that services mortgage loans.

Oman spent just over five years as the administrator of Mille Lacs County, Minnesota, before abruptly resigning on Jan. 31, according to news reports. He previously led or helped lead several economic development agencies in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Daily Inter Lake could not immediately confirm information about Melnick on Monday.

The interviews are scheduled to run back to back from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday in room 302 of the county courthouse, 800 S. Main St. in Kalispell.

Reporter Chad Sokol can be reached at 758-4434 or csokol@dailyinterlake.com