Tonasket to contract for internal compliance administrator

Okanogan County Sheriff's Deputy Preston Ray was on hand at Wednesday's special meeting of the Tonasket City Council to invite anyone who did not wish to leave to do so.

TONASKET – City council had a special meeting Wednesday, Feb. 6, with the intent to approve the creation of a new position for an internal compliance administrator.

At the meeting, city clerk-treasurer Alice Attwood said they probably didn't need to create a new position.

“If we have a new consultant, we don't need a new position, we can do it contractually, so this is no longer necessary,” said Attwood, adding a contract will have to be approved at a public meeting.

In answer to a question from the audience if the position would be advertised, Attwood said that was not required.

“If they meet the qualifications, you can retain them as a contract,” said city attorney Mick Howe.

The council heard the first reading of a budget amendment for current expense budget revenues and expenditures to be increased by $30,000 to pay for the contract. The additional funds will come from an adjusted beginning cash balance of $275,000 to $305,000. The total amended budget for 2019 is $4.26 million.

Justification for the amendment read “Whereas, it was not known at the time of the adoption of the budget that a consultant would be needed to properly secure and process all records and evidence in the police department building.”

The budget amendment ordinance will be included on the agenda of the Feb. 12 regular council meeting for final approval.

When audience members asked if the city needed to get estimates from three people, Attwood explained that was for purchases only.

When Attwood said the city had been speaking to Steve Brown for the position, audience member Renee Bretz asked what qualifications Brown has. Attwood said the council and mayor had not yet received qualifications he has sent in to be reviewed.

Brown is the former chief criminal deputy at the Okanogan County Sheriff's Office and former Okanogan County Sheriff candidate. He was defeated by Tony Hawley in the Nov. 8 general election.

“Isn't that putting the cart before the horse?” asked Bretz.

“Not necessarily,” responded Attwood.

“Okay, we are done,” said Mayor Dennis Brown.

The meeting was adjourned without further discussion.

Okanogan County Sheriff's Deputy Preston Ray, a former employee of the Tonasket Police Department (2013-2016) was on hand to escort out anyone who did not wish to leave.

Steve Brown could not be reached immediately for comment.

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