As of Tuesday afternoon, Troy Mayor Darren Coldwell is the new county administrator.
Coldwell will assume the position on Feb. 20.
The announcement also comes with the news that Coldwell has recently sold his store of 25 years, Booze N’ Bait, which is in escrow.
“When this became available, I felt really confident that I could help out,” Coldwell said. “It’s a whole new chapter for me.”
District 1 Commissioner Mark Peck has been serving as interim county administrator since Aug. 1, 2015 after Bill Bischoff resigned as the county’s administrative assistant.
The commissioners told Coldwell that he could finish out his term as mayor of Troy.
The county administrator is in charge of getting bids on projects, budgets and putting commissioners’ meeting agenda together. He also deals with internal, administrative issues, and deals with the public when an individual has something they want to put on the County Commissioners’ agenda.
In terms of conflicts of interest, Coldwell doesn’t believe there will be any, because the mayor position is volunteer. However, he said that if there’s any conflict at all he will step away and let another city council member handle it.
His budget experience, he said, comes with the volunteer time at the school board and the last three and a half years with the City of Troy. Coldwell was sworn in as mayor in January of 2014.
Coldwell also holds a bachelor’s from the University of Montana in Interpersonal Communications.
“I’m just excited to have a new challenge and I’m hoping that I can help them out with a fresh set of eyes looking at it from a different perspective,” Coldwell said.
During the course of the last two months the County Commissioners had held two different application cycles for the administrative position and the final wrapped up earlier this week.
In total, the county received 38 applicants, and six different individuals were interviewed earlier this week.
Commissioner Mike Cole noted that each of the individuals were very qualified, which made the decision that much more difficult. Out of the six, four were Lincoln County natives.
Cole said that two stuck out out of the individuals they interviewed,
The hiring committee was comprised of Robin Benson, Nancy Trotter-Higgins, Victor White and the commissioners Cole, Peck and Jerry Bennett.
“I think the committee did a great job of evaluating all of the candidates,” Cole said.
Mark Peck said he was impressed with Coldwell’s track record in Troy, and the commissioners concurred that Coldwell stuck out the most as a candidate because of his leadership and budget experience.
“I think I was clear all along, that if I had to choose between a financial guru or a good leader — give me a good leader,” Peck said. “You can learn the financial piece, but you can’t teach someone how to lead.”
County Clerk and Recorder Benson said, and Peck agreed, that with Coldwell they got both financial and leadership skills.
“I think all you have to do is look at his track record in Troy and what he’s done financially with the City of Troy” Peck said.