By JESSE BURKHARDT
The city's law enforcement consultant/public safety director -- Tony Domish -- is expected to officially become the new police chief for the Bingen-White Salmon Police Department soon.
In a special meeting on June 2, Domish, Mayor David Poucher, and two members of the White Salmon City Council -- Mark Peppel and Bob Landgren -- agreed on a tentative contract for Domish.
White Salmon's mayor hires the police chief, and Mayor Poucher said he believes Domish is the best person for the job.
However, the full City Council still has to vote on the chief's contract.
"I get to appoint the chief and say who it is, but the council has to approve the contract," Poucher said.
The council is expected to vote on making the contract official on June 15.
Domish's contract had been scheduled to be voted on at the council's June 2 meeting, but the vote was pushed back while final contract language was worked out.
"We didn't have all the different things ironed out and the council has to approve contracts," Poucher explained. "We came to a tentative agreement last Thursday on the salary."
Domish said he was grateful for the opportunity to be chief.
"I feel really good about it," he said. "It's a unique opportunity. Being here since December I got to know the community, and it's where I want to be."
Domish added that contract negotiations fell into place relatively smoothly during the June 2 session with the mayor and two council members.
"Everybody walked away feeling pretty good," Domish said.
Poucher said the Police Department has a pay range for its police chief of between $55,000 and $75,000. Domish will earn $70,000.
As part of the deal, Domish will not be given any salary increases over the next two years, except for cost of living increases.
"We have an experienced police chief coming in and he's performing well and doing everything people have asked him to do, so he wanted higher than the middle point," Poucher said.
One sticking point was a severance package for Domish in the event a new mayor decides to let him go. The sides agreed on a package identical to what other city managers receive -- a six-month package.
"All benefits and severance are the same as what the city administrator and clerk-treasurer receive," Poucher said.
Domish has been in law enforcement service since 1990. Before coming to White Salmon late last year, Domish served as police chief in Granite Falls, a small community in Snohomish County, not too far from Everett.
City Administrator Pat Munyan said he believes Domish will be great as the city's new police chief.
"He's a true professional, and a real asset to the community," Munyan said at a recent council meeting.