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St. Croix County selects administrator

County Administrator Candidate Pat Thompson

After going nearly six months with the St. Croix County administrator's position vacant, the position is in the final stage of being filled.

Patrick H. Thompson, who most recently was administrator for Hamilton County in Cincinnati, Ohio, was selected by the county board's administrative committee as the top candidate Wednesday.

The full board will vote on the choice at its June 7 regular meeting. If his contract is approved by a majority of the 19 members, Thompson is expected to start work June 8. The job pays $135,000 a year.

"We are pleased to announce the selection of Pat Thompson," said Board Chair Daryl Standafer. "Initially, we received 55 applications, and identified a number of qualified candidates. Our interview committee was assisted by several members from the public, and Thompson emerged as the consensus candidate. We are confident that he will be a strong leader for our professional staff."

Thompson, 52, grew up in Stevens Point. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from UW-Eau Claire and master's in public administration from UW-Madison.

The County Board earlier this year voted unanimously to shift from the administrative coordinator form of government to the county administrator system following the resignation of Chuck Whiting in December to take a job in Minnesota.

Thompson was one of three final candidates interviewed for the position. The others included Bill Reynolds, former commissioner for Washtenaw County in Chelsea, Mich., and Charlene Stevens, deputy county manager for Sedgwick County in Wichita, Kan.

Stevens was offered the job as Willmar, Minn., city administrator in early May.

A story filed on in January reported Thompson was fired from his $220,000 a year job on a 2-1 vote by a three-man commission with a Republican majority.

Greg Hartman, the board's new president, said the board wanted to find a new leader to "implement a bold, innovative, strategic agenda for Hamilton County," the story said.

A later article on the website quoted the lone Democrat commissioner Todd Portune saying the move was an "ambush" and he knew nothing of the plan to fire Thompson.

Thompson was hired from Jefferson County, Colo., for the Ohio job in 2005.