Langley hires new city administrator

The Langley City Council approved Mayor Scott Chaplin’s recommendation of hiring Mark Rentfrow.

The Village by the Sea has a new city administrator.

During a meeting Tuesday night, the majority of the Langley City Council approved Mayor Scott Chaplin’s recommendation of hiring Mark Rentfrow to fill the role, which is a recent change to the city’s administrative structure.

Rentfrow is the current program director for the Washington State Public Works Board. Previously, he’s also worked for the City of Olympia as an economic development liaison and downtown ambassador program manager. In his cover letter, he cited his involvement in Langley events such as the Soup Box Derby.

Chaplin said he received over 60 applications for the job. He credits an ad hoc hiring committee for helping him to narrow down the field.

“I was very impressed with him … I’m very happy with this,” Councilmember Gail Fleming said of the top candidate.

Not everyone was in agreement, though.

Councilmember Thomas Gill pointed out that the city has gone 13 months without a clerk, a required position by state law. The city’s interim clerk, Darlene Baldwin, has resigned and is leaving soon.

“I think we are jumping the gun by hiring an administrator before we have a clerk,” Gill said.

The original job description combined the city administrator and clerk positions, but Chaplin decided to separate the two roles.

Councilmember Rhonda Salerno, however, said she was confident that the new city administrator can handle clerk duties until one gets hired.

In an email to the Record, Chaplin explained that he will assign the duties of the clerk to another interim clerk in the period between when Baldwin leaves and after Rentfrow settles in.

The vote to approve the mayor’s recommendation passed 3-2, with Gill and Councilmember Harolynne Bobis voting in opposition.

Rentfrow will receive an annual salary of $114,000. He plans to start work as Langley’s city administrator on Aug. 7.