Missoula County commissioners said farewell to the county’s chief administrative office on Thursday and began a transition of top administrators that will continue to play out over the coming weeks.
Vickie Zeier, who served as Missoula County’s elected clerk and recorder for 21 years before being name the county’s chief administrative officer in 2014, will retire on Friday.
“I’m sad to see Vickie go,” said Commissioner Josh Slotnick. “She’s had an illustrative 35 year career. She’s such an incredible font of knowledge for Missoula County.”
As part of the initial transition, Chris Lounsbury, who served as the chief operating officer, will move into Zeier’s post as the new chief administrative officer. He begins the role on Sunday at the rate of $62.85 per hour.
The county’s current communications and projects director, Anne Hughes, will take Lounsbury’s old position as the new chief operating officer. She also begins on Sunday at the rate of $56.83 per hour.
“These are one year employment agreements for this first year,” Lounsbury said. “It will give us a chance to go through the transition and work through that. In the future, hopefully we’ll be back with our standard three year agreement.”
County officials said Thursday that a new communications and projects director hasn’t yet been identified.
As the transition plays out, commissioners bid farewell to Zeier by thanking her for her 35 years of service to Missoula County.
“I’m excited to welcome Chris and Anne on board in their new positions,” said Commissioner Dave Strohmaier. “I’m sad to see Vicki transition out of Missoula County. Hopefully there will be many a good stay at Jellystone Park ahead.”