TRPA cuts down list of candidates to four; Palma survives | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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TRPA cuts down list of candidates to four; Palma survives

A former Lake Tahoe Basin forest supervisor and the agency’s acting executive director are among four finalists selected in the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s search for a leader.

Juan Palma, who served as chief of the U.S. Forest Service’s Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit between 1997 and 1999, and John Marshall, TRPA’s acting director and legal counsel, ranked among the top applicants in the running for an executive director.

They join Bureau of Land Management District Manager John Singlaub, of Carson City, and Peter Coppleman, a principal deputy assistant attorney general from Virginia, on the short list of applicants who will be interviewed Wednesday by the agency’s 14-member governing board.



Randall Scott, a finalist from Virginia, accepted another position and withdrew himself from the running. Tennessee businessman Richard Duprey, who was identified last week as one of the final six applicants, didn’t make the cut.

Recruitment conducted by the Sacramento headhunting firm Wilcox, Miller and George turned up more than 65 applicants for the lead position. A five-member TRPA sub-committee, lead by boardmember Dave Solaro, reduced that pool through a series of resume reviews and interviews to the four remaining finalists.




“All of the candidates really have excellent backgrounds – they’re just different from each other,” Solaro said. “The governing board will have to define which one is the best match for the community and the TRPA.”

The four candidates will spend today interviewing with community members and TRPA staff before they meet with the governing board Wednesday for a final interview.

“It’s a very thorough process and the TRPA deserves a thorough process,” applicant Juan Palma said.

Palma left his post as forest supervisor in 1999 to become district manager for 5 million acres of Bureau of Land management property in eastern Oregon.

He said managing the basin’s forests has prepared him for the job as TRPA’s leader.

TRPA began its search for an executive director in January, when Jim Baetge, the agency’s leader for five years, resigned for health reasons.

After an initial recruitment process that lasted months, the TRPA offered the chief position to attorney and Inyo County water director Greg James in May. James rejected the offer for personal reasons. Runner-up Pam Wilcox, a Nevada state lands administrator, also took herself out of the running for personal reasons.

When the two top picks declined to take the job, John Marshall, TRPA’s legal counsel for four years, assumed the position as the acting director. Marshall could not be reached Monday for comment.

In its second search for a leader, the bistate regulator bumped its salary range from the previously offered $80,000 to $90,000 per year to a more competitive rate of $95,000 to $110,000 per year.

Solaro expects the board to make a decision on a leader at its Wednesday meeting, held at the Tahoe Seasons Resort in South Lake Tahoe. The public is invited to attend.


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