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County administrator receives new contract

TIM WILLIS, Sun News Service

To defuse grand jury criticism of a contract with its top administrator, Nevada County supervisors March 16 unanimously approved a new pact with him.

The 18-month contract with County Administrator David Brennan, retroactive to Jan. 1, 1999, does not change his annual salary of $92,796.

In a special report released March 6, the civil grand jury charged that Supervisor Sam Dardick, then board chairman, signed a contract on Dec. 15, 1998, “without proper authority.” The grand jury also blasted the county for waiting to publicly announce the contract more than a month after it was approved.

Brennan on Tuesday accepted responsibility for the mishaps. Brennan believed the board had agreed to the terms of a contract at a meeting Dardick had missed, he said, and he informed Dardick the contract only needed his signature. The late announcement was the result of his office’s delay in delivering a signed contract to the board office, Brennan added.

With three members of the grand jury in the audience, supervisors on Tuesday approved new policies to prevent similar contract mishaps in the future, including one to formally vote on contracts in open session.

“The leak from the dam was identified, and hopefully we will just try to plug it,” said Supervisor Peter Van Zant.

On another matter, supervisors formally approved a contract with its new planning director, entitling him to a lump sum payment if he is dismissed before March 31, 2001. Mark Tomich, a planner for the city of Irvine, would receive a lump-sum payment equal to three months’ salary and benefits. The exact amount of the payment was not immediately available this morning. But the county previously indicated Tomich would receive an annual salary of $64,380. Tomich would not be entitled to the payment if he quits the post.

Supervisors also selected Terry McAteer, county superintendent of schools, as the schools representative to the Children and Families First Commission. The commission will allocate Proposition 10 tobacco tax money, which must be spent on early-childhood development programs.


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