A board of police and fire chiefs Friday unanimously recommended Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz to become the first executive director of South Sound 911.
Neiditz was selected from three finalists. The other two were Washington State Ferries Director David Moseley and Jack Harper II, city manager of Hillsboro, Texas.
Neiditz, 59, has been Lakewood’s city manager since March 2005. He was runner-up for Tacoma city manager a year ago.
The next step is for the recommendation to go to the South Sound 911 policy board Wednesday. It’s unclear whether the policy board will take a vote then on whether to confirm Neiditz or wait until a future meeting, said Pierce County spokesman Hunter George.
South Sound 911 is the new agency working to build a seamless emergency communications system in Pierce County. In November 2011, Pierce County voters approved raising the sales tax by a penny on every $10 purchase to help build a cohesive radio network and two new dispatch centers. The tax increase took effect in April.
The upgraded radio system for emergency responders will comply with new federal standards for so-called “narrow-banding” and replace a patchwork of incompatible radio systems.
The combined operations board of 10 police and fire chiefs recommended Neiditz. He also was the unanimous top choice of a search committee. It had narrowed the field of 32 applicants from 18 states to three finalists.
“This is a unique, first-time opportunity to build a brand new agency to provide a vital public service,” Neiditz said Friday. “I’m honored and humbled by the opportunity to make a difference in making this a success.”
The position of South Sound 911 director has an annual salary range of $175,000 to $205,000.
Neiditz earns $156,000 annually as city manager of Lakewood, Pierce County’s second-largest city with a population of 58,260.
The departure of Neiditz from the City of Lakewood would add to the city’s leadership changes. Mayor Doug Richardson is leaving the Lakewood City Council to join the Pierce County Council in January.
Neiditz previously worked as city administrator in Sumner and has held two leadership positions for Pierce County. He was deputy county executive and later was executive director of public safety, where he oversaw six departments.Steve Maynard: 253-597-8647