Flathead County

County Administrator to Stay Through May

Flathead County Commission asked Mike Pence to remain in his position to ease transition

By Micah Drew
Flathead County Administrator Mike Pence is pictured in front of the Flathead County building in Kalispell on Nov. 2, 2020. Pence is retiring. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

After announcing his retirement from his role as county administrator last fall, Mike Pence has agreed to extend his contract for two additional months at the request of the Flathead County Commission. He was originally planning to step down at the end of March, but will now remain in his position through May 31. 

“The commissioners do not want this position to be vacant and would like me to spend a bit of time with the new administrator to have a good hand off and transition,” Pence wrote in an email to the Beacon. 

The deadline for applications for the county administrator closed on Feb. 12, and Pence said there is a lot of work to get a final group of candidates in for interviews with the commissioners, including extensive background checks and contract negotiations once an offer is extended. 

Pence also noted that the first series of departmental budget reviews that he leads with the county’s financial director will begin in April, and by the time the review process gets to the commissioners it will likely be late May, which is when the commissioners predict the new administrator will come on board. 

“They want to have an orderly transition and do not want to have a vacancy with all that is going on with the budget and other areas of responsibility that my position covers,” Pence said. “One of those includes union negotiations that will be in that timeframe where I serve as lead negotiator for the county.”

The county commissioners voted to extend Pence’s contract, and included an additional monthly living stipend, at their meeting on Feb. 9.

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