By BRETT WILKISON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Paul Kelley, the recently retired Sonoma County supervisor, has confirmed he is not among those seeking the general manager’s post at the county water agency.
The county is again looking to fill the position a year after the first hiring process for the job stalled amid political intrigue and leaks about the job candidates.
Much of that speculation surrounded Kelley, who had announced early last year his intention not to seek reelection to the Board of Supervisors. A veteran of water issues during his board tenure, Kelley was widely rumored to be angling for the water agency post.
Those reports, plus a number of candidate withdrawals and other leaks of confidential information, resulted in supervisors suspending the job search and filling the position on a interim basis.
Kelley, whose 16 years in office representing the north county ended this week, continues to be mum on whether he was ever a candidate for the job during the first go-round.
However, he said Wednesday he is not a candidate in the current recruitment process for the water agency post.
“At this point I am hunting for a job,” said Kelley, 47, who added that he’s looking into consultant work on water and transportation issues for government and businesses.
Last year, he was appointed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Water Commission. He is also serving a two-year term as president of the Association of California Water Agencies.
“I’m honored to have people think that I am a qualified water expert,” he said. “But I have not applied for the water agency general manager position.”
The agency has about 200 employees and a budget of $185 million. The general manager position has a salary range of $175,902 to $213,804.
The post has been held on an interim basis for the past year by Grant Davis, who joined the agency three years ago as its assistant general manager.
Davis has applied for the general manager position, according to a source familiar with his plans.
Davis, who formerly served as executive director of The Bay Institute and as an aide to Rep. Lynn Woolsey, said Thursday he could not discuss reports of his candidacy for the top job.
“Most job searches are confidential,” he said, “and I have to respect that process that’s underway.”
About 40 candidates submitted applications for the position before the Dec. 15 deadline, according to Norm Roberts, whose Beverly Hills-based consulting firm is handling the recruitment for the county.
Roberts said he will meet with supervisors Jan. 18 to review the applications and set up supervisors’ interviews with the top candidates, a step he expected would begin in February.
The agency supplies water to the cities of Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma and Sonoma, and the Valley of the Moon, North Marin and Marin Municipal water districts.