By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff
The disappointment was evident in County Manager Dick Smith’s voice Friday afternoon when he reported county officials were unable to find a suitable person to fill the administrator position at Curry County Adult Detention Center.
The position has been open since Don Burdine resigned in September.
Smith said the seven interested candidates interviewed on Dec. 28 were all good candidates in their chosen fields, but most lacked the necessary experience in detention center administration.
“We (the county) will be re-posting the position,” Smith said, “because we are looking for a candidate with a strong detention center background.”
The county manager said in a previous telephone interview he had narrowed the candidates to two with current Undersheriff Doug Bowman being a finalist.
“Unfortunately Doug Bowman withdrew because he plans to run for sheriff,” Smith said.
Bowman said he chose not to pursue the jail administrator position because his heart is in law enforcement.
Bowman said he has spoken with Smith and agreed to continue as interim jail administrator until a replacement can be found.
County Commissioner Kathrynn Tate, who participated in the administrator interview process, said she felt Bowman was the strongest candidate because he had shown he could do the job.
“I’m disappointed he withdrew,” Tate said, “but I’m sure he had a good reason.”
Tate said she wasn’t really surprised they were unable to find a qualified candidate.
“It is a difficult job that requires a lot of experience,” she said, “so we can’t just pull somebody off the street.”