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Ex-Port CEO Bishop demonstrates the downside of hiring administrators

Ex-Port CEO Bishop demonstrates the downside of hiring administrators

Jeff Bishop left his $150K position as CEO of the Port of Coos Bay to take over as city manager of Blanchard, OK for half the salary. Bishop wanted to get closer to his Oklahoma roots, it was said, but he had negotiated a consulting agreement with the port commission and received full pay for a period of ninety days which is coincidentally exactly how long he lasted in Blanchard. Bishop was terminated or “self terminated” according to one account and took a higher paying job in Miami, OK where he received his AA degree. The folks in Blanchard do not appear pleased with their “golden boy” and believe he may have used the city as a jumping off place until he got the job he really wanted.

Bishop may have been unhappy at his job in Coos Bay long before deciding to come to Blanchard, Oklahoma. It is known that he applied for other jobs both in Ohio and in Washington State, and possibly several more, prior to applying for the job at Blanchard. So, even going home to Oklahoma was not always his goal for leaving Coos Bay. It appears his main goal was just to leave Coos Bay, Oregon.
Prior to his application for the Blanchard City Manager position, Bishop and Coos Bay agreed to a couple of changes in his contract with the understanding that he would soon leave the position. The newly negotiated contract required him to continue to work as a Consultant to the Port of Coos Bay for 90 days after he left the job – at full pay – and in exchange, he would have to give only a 30-day notice when he left instead of 45 days. Therefore, for the same 90 days that Jeffrey Bishop worked for the City of Blanchard, he was also working as a Consultant for Coos Bay, drawing a combined salary of over $19,000 per month, plus more than $1,500 per month phone and car allowance and other benefits by the City of Blanchard. During his 90-day stint at Blanchard, Bishop was doing very well for himself.

Bishop’s six years at Port of Coos Bay his longest term of employment in anyone place and ninety day term as Blanchard’s city manager may be his shortest but he doesn’t have a record of longevity anywhere. (Coicidentally, the new Coquille city manager and Bishop both worked for the city of Jerome, ID.)

Bishop has been employed as the City Manger of Blanchard, Oklahoma since January of this year. Prior to that his experience has been serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay in Coos Bay, Oregon from 2005 to 2011. He also served from 2001 to 2005 as Manager of Industrial Development for the Port of Tacoma and from 1996 to 2001 as the Director of Properties and Development for the Port of Pasco in Washington.

Bishop was the City Administrator from 1995 to 1996 for the City of Jerome, Idaho;City Administrative Staff Analyst for the City of Seattle from 1994 to 1995; City Manager from March to July of 1994 for the City of Sulphur, Ok.; City Administrator for the City of Connell, Wa. from 1990 to 1994; from 1988 to 1990 was the City Administrator for the City of Lansing, Ks.; and was a Management Intern for the City of Nichols Hills, Ok from 1987 to 1988.

According to the editorial Bishop may be arguing with the City of Blanchard over the terms of his contract that require he be paid one year’s salary if terminated early. The author believes Bishop wanted to be terminated because he had already accepted another job in Miami, OK.

[hat tip/themguys]

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About magix

Profile photo of magix When my oldest son, a Marine, left for war and crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in March 2003 I started writing my conscience. After two tours that young combat veteran’s mother is now an ardent peace activist and advocate for social, environmental and economic justice. MGx has matured since those early vents and ramblings and now covers relevant and important local and regional matters in addition to national and global affairs.


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16 Responses to "Ex-Port CEO Bishop demonstrates the downside of hiring administrators"

  1. Al  June 19, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Organizational change, Mark. Not personnel. It’s an additional position – and a much needed one. It addresses operational issues that no one else is assigned to do. Consequently, many operational issues never get resolved because – quite simply – no one is responsible for them. This is where the discussion always breaks down. Candidates that have never sat in the seat assume that, if elected, they’ll simply accomplish what dozens before them have failed to do. There’s a reason for that breakdown and it has nothing to do with personnel.

  2. MarkM  June 19, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Those are reasons for personnel changes, not structural ones. Don’t kid yourself – a county administrator’s job would carry political elements with it too.

  3. Al  June 19, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Apologies for confusing and frustrating you RUGullible. Here’s a simple answer to your question: we need to hire an Administrator because the employees told me they want to report to someone who will represent them to both the public and to the BOC.

    Someone who is interested in what their department is doing. Someone who listens to them. Someone who will represent and fight for their needs. Someone who simply isn’t interested in looking good on camera and who makes decisions – often bad ones – that benefit them politically. Quite simply, they want to work with someone who has the management and operational skills and experience that will help them do their jobs better.

    I hope that answers your question.

  4. MarkM  June 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    “Deferred maintenance” doesn’t not imply neglect or incompetence. Maintenance is deferred because funds do not exist to pay for them. Administrator advocates need to explain how adding an administrator to the staff would liberate or produce new funds that can be used to pay for maintenance items that everyone knows need to be done.

    You could argue that the BOC was guilty for getting caught unawares by the scope and scale of the BH facility, but you would next have to argue how an administrator would be somehow better informed. But even if that argument is successful, you would still need to find revenue to cover the cost of maintenance deferred for lack of funds.

    Our county has a revenue problem. It’s never been clear how an administrator fixes that.

    Don Gurney has staked out a very viable campaign strategy when he says, “People say I’m a one issue candidate, and it’s true. But it’s the one issue that fixes all the rest.”

    I’m not saying an administrator is not needed, but if I had a choice between adding an administrator or increasing timber revenues, I know which one I’d pick.

  5. RU gullible  June 17, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    Yo Al, you did not disappoint. You promised to answer the question, then you did your baffle the people with bullshit act, and failed to address any part of the question. Keep up the great work for five months and Main will win with minimal effort. Your posting reads like your earlier post about “profit”. Are you not aware that gas, electricity, salaries, benefits, materiels and services, other G&A, are all “expenses”, not profit? Maybe your business is living on earlier years profit. Your guy probably received a copy of the county commissioner job description prior to or when hired. Perhaps you spent a few minutes when conducting business of the structure committee reading the document. Unlike you and the others who have their hands moving the lips and providing the voices for your candidate, I’ll try to answer your questions. When done, perhaps you will tell us why the citizens should hire your guy to do a job when they know his first act will be to hire someone else at a greater annual salary to do the same job. If you cant answer the question, please answer what your guy will be doing to earn his pay while the citizens pay another person to do his job.

    The job descriptioon for a Coos County commissioner is the document published by the county and maintained by your pal Lehman. It should have been modified many years ago. Many of the citizens have copies. As written, the only qualified candidate for commissioner in any position (1, 2, or3) is Main. If the solid waste facilty went into neglect it would be the fault of the person employed to assure that did not happen or if happeneing the same person obligated to inform the planet of the facts; the department manager who, if you speak fact, I would have fired. With facts in hand, why didnt your pals Messerle and Parry fire the person? Same for the IT department. The county commissioners, including your guy, are not experts at IT, solid waste, or changing rolls of toilet paper in the mens room. They relied on these people who assured their employer, the citizens of Coos County, that they are experts at the job. There is no excuse for neglect or silence. Regarding the collection of tax, if your facts are accurate, and seems that you have been wrong more than right, it would be time to recall the elected county Treasurer. Now, Al, please no more flim flam, why should the people hire your guy. Seems a simple question to me.

  6. al  June 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    I’ll anwer your question with a few questions: what, in your mind, is the job description for a Commissioner? If the Solid Waste facility went into decline through neglect, then whose fault would that be and how would you correct it? If the IT department fell into neglect, whose fault would that be and how would you correct it? If property tax is not being collected or audited, whose fault is that and how would you correct it? Does the Commissioner’s job description alone resolve these isses which have been festering for decades?

    Once you find answers to these questions, you’ll recognize the need for an Administrator.

  7. Colandrio  June 16, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Bishop couldn’t wait to get out before the sh/t hit the fan at the Port. Of course, there is no oversight of that agency which now makes all it’s important decisions outside the purview of the public; so he may have misjudged on that score. This history provided by Mary, does give an indication of the slimey nature of this breed of roving administrator who by nature has no affiliation with the agency he is supposed to lead. Golden parachutes abound and support this group. A good reason not to spread the idea to the county.

  8. RU gullible  June 16, 2012 at 6:32 AM

    “Al, thanks for the pleasure that you bring through your contribution to this blog. Would “Al” or one of the other voices of Messerle please explain to the voters in few monosyllabic words why Messerle, Sweet and Cribbins are campaigning to fill a commissioners position that is defined by a published detailed job description so they may immediately, upon being elected, hire an adminitrator and staff to do the work that they will be paid by the citizens to do? Thanks Al.

  9. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-50 alignnone photo of aghast!
    aghast!  June 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    yeah, why are mark AND al double teaming m?

  10. The Reminder  June 15, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Your graphic for this story could also be representing Jon’s right and left hand, so busy leap frogging each other on this site lately.

  11. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-50 alignnone photo of magix
    magix  June 15, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    There is no dealing with illogical and irrational people. First Al says he fails to see a “connection” between the post and hiring a county administrator – (that’s because I didn’t make a specific connection) and now Al is saying that the title regarding a pitfall in hiring administrators DOES have a connection specific to a county administrator. First its NO connection to a county administrator and now it IS a connection to a county administrator.

  12. Al  June 15, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    My mistake. I somehow made the mistake of concluding that your headline had something to do with hiring administrators.

  13. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-50 alignnone photo of magix
    magix  June 15, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Wow. Why are both Al and Mark jumping to conclusions. All I did was report on Bishop’s short tenure in Blanchard and how some people there feel about as a cautionary tale. I never mentioned a county administrator once.
    As for Bishop’s performance while he was here, so far he the return on investment to the taxpayer has been in negative numbers.

  14. themguys  June 15, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    “One failed example should not be the basis for a plan.”

    It’s worked for four decades for The Port of Coos Bay.

    Forty years and half a billion dollars already, and the return is?????


    The railroad company is still laughing every time Coos County comes up. Can you imagine unloading a liability that huge on ANYONE else? Unbelievable, and here they come, begging to grab their ankles for another forty years. Even a dog looks to see who kicks him Mark.

  15. MarkM  June 15, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Very interesting story. Even if Bishop played Coos Bay against Blanchard to get to Miami (or wherever else he leaps to) I don’t see it as a reflection of his work here. So he didn’t like Coos Bay. He wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last. I would think you’d be happy he’s gone.

    So far as this being an argument against hiring an administrator, let me just say I bought a car once and it broke down. But I bought another one later on anyway. The point is: you can’t avoid risk. You may think it’s “safer” to not hire an administrator, but it could be far riskier to NOT hire one. That’s where the argument is. Sure there are plenty of failed municipal administrators across America. There are also far more successful ones. One failed example should not be the basis for a plan.

  16. Al  June 15, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    And this has what to do with hiring a much-needed County Administrator?? I fail to see the correlation.


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