Hermiston Finance Director Robert Irby has announced that he will retire, City Manager Ed Brookshier informed the City Council at Monday night’s meeting.

Brookshier said Irby will stay through the end of the budget cycle and into September if necessary.

Brookshier praised Irby’s service to the city.

“I just could not have asked for a better finance director,” he said. “I hope he enjoys his retirement, he certainly earned it.”

The city will pay $15,000 to the Local Government Personnel Institute, a consulting organization, to perform the search for a finance director. The state-wide organization is affiliated with the League of Oregon Cities and will perform advertising of the position in the Northwest, written testing and background checks of applicants.

“I strongly feel we need to have some outside help,” Brookshier said.

Irby told Brookshier he would stay with the city until September in order to help train the new director.

Brookshier hopes to fill the position by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

Brookshier also said Irby’s position will return to full time. The position had gone to part time about three years ago as part of city budget cuts.

Irby’s part-time position pays roughly $49,400 per year, but the full-time position will range from $85,000 to $98,000 annually, Brookshier said.

“We’ve got by, but it really does need to be a full-time job,” Brookshier said.

The announcement came as the city is conducting another search, for an assistant to Brookshier.

Former Assistant City Manager Ray Jones’ position, which was part-time, will also be reinstated to full-time. As a part-time employee, Jones was paid roughly $49,400 annually, but the full-time position will pay between $67,000 and $75,000 per year.

The combined total of salaries for the full-time finance director and full-time assistant city manager will add at least $53,000 to the city’s payroll.

Brookshier updated the council Monday on the search for an assistant to his office. He said he has received more than 100 applications, 40 of which have advanced degrees.

Brookshier said he will narrow the list to 20 to 25 applicants and asked several council members to help him assess those. He said he will then choose final candidates.

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