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Public invited to meet administrator finalists


   The public is invited to meet the four finalists for the position of Jefferson County administrator at a social Thursday, March 8, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds kitchen.
   The county has been operating without an administrator since March 1, when former County Administrator Matthew Birnie, 39, started his new job as administrator for Gunnison County, Colo.
   An interview committee narrowed the field of candidates from the 17 who applied down to seven. The field was further narrowed when two of the seven took themselves out of the running, and the five finalists participated in telephone interviews on Feb. 23.
   Following the interview, the commission selected four for face-to-face interviews, including: Ross Schultz, of Sherwood; Jeffery Rasmussen, of Longview, Wash.; John Blanchard, of Corvallis; and Jay O. Henry, of Klamath Falls.
   The screening committee included the three members of the County Commission -- Chairman Mike Ahern, Bill Bellamy and John Hatfield -- as well as 10 others: Mark Carman, Harold Siegenhagen, Elaine Henderson, Kate Adams, Jay Henry, Don Martin, Melinda Boyle, Jason Hertel, Kathy Marston, and Garland Brunoe.
   On Friday, the finalists will have their last interview with commissioners and department heads, and the commission is expected to make its decision.
   The commission hopes to have the new administrator on board by the beginning of May.