The Thurston County commissioners announced Tuesday that they have hired Ramiro Chavez as the permanent county manager.
“We have been very impressed with Ramiro in the county manager position,” Bud Blake, chairman of the commission, said in a news release. “He has a great understanding of county business and is very competent in his management of the information we, as the board, need to do our work. Asking him to remain as the county manager was an easy decision.”
Chavez was hired as Thurston County Public Works director in August 2014. Before that, he spent 23 years with Pierce County Public Works.
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When he was hired at Thurston County, Chavez said one of his goals was to make the department more efficient. He plans to continue that work on a larger scale.
“I believe this is a great opportunity to work with the new commission to make county government more efficient and transparent,” Chavez told The Olympian on Tuesday.
The three commissioners presented the job offer to Chavez on Tuesday during their agenda-setting meeting, and he accepted it, said county spokeswoman Meghan Porter. His new salary will be $147,000 a year, she said.
Chavez grew up in South America. While pursuing a degree in architecture at Central University of Ecuador in Quito, he met the woman who would later become his wife, Kathy.
“She was vacationing, and she was born and raised in Olympia,” Chavez told The Olympian in 2014. They have lived in Olympia for 28 years and have two grown sons.
The county plans to begin recruiting to fill its director of Public Works position, according to the news release.
County engineer Scott Lindblom has served as the department’s interim director since last summer, when Chavez took over for Moore.