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After narrowing down a final candidate, Rainier City Council decided to start fresh in its search for a city administrator to replace Debra Dudley, who retired in January after 12 years with the city.

Dudley will stay on part time as the city’s financial officer, working remotely but coming in on an as-needed basis, said Rainier Mayor Jerry Cole.

“We went through the process and came down to a final candidate, but upon further backgrounding we just felt that he wasn’t the right fit for Rainier,” Cole said.

Though former candidates for the job aren’t off the table, Cole said the council wants to advertise the job again. Cole said a willingness to relocate is an important factor for candidates who aren’t local.

Cole also said the city is in a good spot to be hiring. The rest of the staff has been able to balance the “complex” duties of a city administrator without sacrificing their day-to-day work, so the city doesn’t need to rush, Cole said.

‘We’ve got a great staff and department heads, they’re able to operate very well without a city administrator.”

Still, the administrator position is important to fill so the rest of the staff can focus on their typical workload.

“(In the meantime) we’ve been having good communications with staff to make sure everything’s getting done and meeting the needs of the public,” Cole said. “We’re lucky to be in a position within the city right now to take our time and find the right person for the job.”

The council is still developing ways to advertise for the job, but interested candidates should contact Rainier City Hall.

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