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On 3-2 vote, McCleary affirms new public works director hire

Todd Baun has been named the new public works director for the city of McCleary.

Baun had been the interim director, but McCleary Mayor Gary Dent opted to give Baun the full-time job.

Last month, the McCleary City Council rejected a contract with Baun to be the interim director. Baun was the city’s public facilities manager and a union employee. A memorandum of understanding between the city and the union would have had Baun be paid a salary plus receive one and a half times the agreed compensation level for overtime.

Council members rejected the contract because the public works director is an exempt, salaried position — and they thought it shouldn’t be paid overtime.

The contract was sent back to the union for negotiation, but the union wouldn’t move from its position that overtime be given.

Baun was awarded the position during the McCleary council’s Feb. 26 meeting on a vote of 3 to 2, following a 10-minute, closed-door executive session.

Councilman Brent Schiller and Jeff Catterlin voted against the measure, noting that they thought outside applications for the full-time position should have been taken.

The votes were not against Baun as an individual.

The city didn’t advertise the public works director position. As a comparison, Ocean Shores got 14 applications and interviewed the top three picks before settling on their public works director.

Baun’s salary was not yet available.