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Vote on confirmation of Neiditz as South Sound 911 director set for Jan. 9

Post by Steve Maynard / The News Tribune on Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm with No Comments »
December 19, 2012 1:17 pm

A vote on whether to confirm Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz as the first South Sound 911 director won’t take place until early January.

The new agency’s Policy Board met today to consider Neiditz’s confirmation and scheduled its vote for Jan. 9.

County Executive Pat McCarthy, who is chairwoman of the Policy Board, said the panel received information on the process – including applicants and interviews – that led to Neiditz’s recommendation.

“There were a number of us that wanted time to process the information, read over it and we’ll make a decision in January,” said McCarthy, who was on vacation last week.

“This is a matter of having a deliberative process,” McCarthy said. “This is a very important decision.”

Eight of the nine elected officials that make up the policy board were present at today’s meeting.

It was unclear going into the meeting whether the panel would take a vote today to confirm Neiditz.

A board of police and fire chiefs Friday unanimously selected Neiditz from three finalists, following the recommendation of a search committee. Members of that board briefed the policy board today.

Neiditz, 59, has been Lakewood’s city manager since March 2005.

The position of South Sound 911 director has an annual salary range of $175,000 to $205,000.

Neiditz earns $156,000 annually as city manager of Lakewood, Pierce County’s second-largest city with a population of 58,260.

The departure of Neiditz from the City of Lakewood would add to the city’s leadership changes. Mayor Doug Richardson is leaving the Lakewood City Council to join the Pierce County Council in January.

South Sound 911 is the new agency working to build a seamless emergency communications system in Pierce County. In November 2011, Pierce County voters approved raising the sales tax by a penny on every $10 purchase to help build a cohesive radio network and two dispatch centers. The tax increase took effect in April.

The upgraded radio system for emergency responders will comply with new federal standards for so-called “narrow-banding” and replace a patchwork of incompatible radio systems.

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