Scott Derickson and Central Oregon candidate are finalistsWarrenton City Manager Scott Derickson is one of two finalists for the job of Clatsop County administrator.

This week the county commissioners whittled their choices of candidates to Derickson and Jefferson County Administrator Mike Morgan. The commissioners hope to pick one of the two to replace former County Administrator Jim Azumano, who retired in May.

The commissioners plan to introduce both finalists to the community at a public reception Sept. 29. They hope to make a final choice soon after.

Derickson has served as Warrenton City Manager since May 2000. He earned a bachelor's degree in public planning policy from the University of Oregon in 1993 and a master's degree in public administration from the school two years later.

He worked for the city of Veneta in a paid internship as an economic development planner until 1996, when he joined the Umpqua Council of Governments in Douglas County as a senior management analyst. There he provided local government consulting service in administration, personnel management, finance, systems development charges, capital improvement projects, grant writing and planning, and secured $5 million in grants for local projects.

At Warrenton, Derickson spearheaded the city's community visioning project, which was nominated for a League of Oregon Cities 2002 Good Governance Award. In 1998 he was appointed by then-Gov. John Kitzhaber to the Oregon Community Services Commission as a local government representative.

Morgan received a master's degree in public administration from Portland State University. He worked as elections division administrator for the city of Los Angeles from 1972 to 1977, executive director of the Lassen County Council on Aging from 1978-80, and executive director of Wyoming Senior Citizens Inc. from 1982-84. From 1985 through 1996 he was circuit rider administrator and executive director for the Fremont County Association of Governments, serving six cities and a county in central Wyoming.

Morgan has been administrator for Jefferson County in central Oregon since 1996, where his duties also include managing the county's Community Development Department. He has served two terms as president of the Oregon Association of County Administrators and was a finalist for the American Society of Public Administrators Northwest Chapter's Public Service Leadership Award for 2003.

In Jefferson County, Morgan oversaw the recent construction of the county's new $10 million jail and law enforcement center.

Both candidates will be brought to Astoria Sept. 29 for interviews with the county commissioners and with county department heads and union representatives. The public reception will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at a location to be announced, and will give citizens the opportunity to meet and talk with each finalist.

The county secured the services of the Association of Oregon Counties to help in the search for Azumano's replacement, which drew 59 applications from across the country.

Assistant County Administrator Debra Kraske has served as interim county administrator since Azumano's departure.

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