Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012
COUNTY MANAGER DUANE COLE ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Clatsop County Manager Duane Cole announced his retirement to the county board of commissioners Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Cole's last day with the county will be May 31.
"I have been fortunate to have professionally served 35 years in local government - a field to which I have dedicated my entire career," Cole said in a letter to the board. "For me it is now time to be with my family, pursue other interests, and explore the next phase of life."
Cole joined Clatsop County in May 2009 from the city of Walla Walla, Wash., where he served as city manager.
The board of commissioners will detail its process for recruiting Cole's replacement in the near future.
“Duane Cole brought professionalism, competency, and integrity to government in Clatsop County. He engaged fully to make Clatsop County government more effective and more efficient. His organizational talent has brought many positive changes and has made Clatsop County a leader in many areas. His legacy to us is a solid foundation on which we can build success. He will always be welcome here. He will be missed,” Chair Rohne stated today.
Cole said he is providing the board with more than the 90 days' notice of departure required in his contract in order to allow the commissioners adequate time to select a replacement before his retirement.
Born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and raised in Milton-Freewater, Ore., Cole received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Oregon.
His career in public administration began in 1977 at the age of 23 when he was hired as city administrator of Pilot Rock, Ore. He subsequently served with the city of Pendleton as finance director, assistant city manager and city manager pro tem, and as city administrator for Susanville, Calif. He was city administrator for Newberg for 12 years until 2002, when he took the top administrative job with Walla Walla.
Under Cole's tenure, Clatsop County revived a proposal to expand the county jail that will go before the board of commissioners soon for a decision whether to seek voter approval for the project. The county has also led a collaborative effort with local cities, the Port of Astoria and Oregon Highway Department to find a solution to the chronic flooding problem on U.S. Highway 101 south of Seaside that appears likely to go forward this year.
The county also leased the historic county jail building to the Clatsop County Historical Society for development of the Oregon Film Museum; negotiated a sale of the former Darigold Building in downtown Astoria to Coastal Family Health Center for its planned new clinic; completed the update of the North Coast Business Park Master Plan charting future development at the county-owned space in Warrenton; and launched an examination of planning issues covering the county's near-shore ocean zone.
One of Cole's biggest accomplishments is the development of a Strategic Plan. The document, due to go before the board of commissioners for adoption in the near future, identifies more than 40 major capital, infrastructure and planning projects as well as projected timelines and funding sources for each.
Cole expressed thanks to the county's commissioners and staff.
"To each of you I extend my sincere appreciation for the excellent opportunities for professional and personal development that you have provided me at Clatsop County," he wrote. "Your respect and encouragement has been welcomed and valued."