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County Gets ‘Tough’ Chief Administrator

The job of Spokane County chief administrative officer - the top management post - long has been ceremonial, or even as Commissioner Steve Hasson put it: a gopher’s job. Go for this, go for that.

But that will change today when commissioners formally hand over the county’s day-to-day administrative reins to Jim Lindow.

That will free commissioners to concentrate on legislative matters, commissioner Phil Harris said.

“The chief administrative officer has not been, in the history of this county, allowed to be an administrative officer,” Harris said. “We can’t pass our legislative authority on. But we certainly can pass on our administrative duties.”

Lindow, 50, could not be reached for comment.

The longtime county employee worked his way up from probation officer and has a master’s degree in counseling. He is seen as a calming influence over 1,800 employees.

“He has a lot of respect from the community,” Harris said. “He’s nice but tough. That’s what makes a good leader.

“He’s someone who doesn’t walk around with a big stick in his hand,” Harris added. “He works with the people. He knows how to say ‘no’ and he does it with dignity.”

Hasson said county commissioners constantly are asked to referee personnel disputes. Lindow is perfect for that job, he said.

While commissioners will retain hiring and firing authority over top managers, Lindow’s opinion will be sought, the commissioners said.

In other action today, commissioners will give Sheriff John Goldman $600,000 to cover rising overtime costs in the jail and on the street.

Half of the money will come from reserves generated by the building department.

, DataTimes