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Kitsap County budget chief resigns

Shawn Gabriel, who just resigned as Kitsap County budget chief.  - Courtesy photo
Shawn Gabriel, who just resigned as Kitsap County budget chief.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

After just over a year on the job, Kitsap County’s chief budget officer is leaving his position to return to Florida for personal reasons.

Shawn Gabriel’s last day as director of administrative services is Dec. 17, although earned vacation will allow him to leave earlier.

“This is a great job working with a lot of good people,” Gabriel said. “It has been a wonderful experience. But some decisions need to be made as to what is best for your personal life, and your family.”

Gabriel was hired in Sept. 2008 after lengthy search, replacing Ben Holland. Previously, he was the deputy city manager of North Miami Beach.

Gabriel will be returning to Florida but does not have a position waiting.

“I decided to do this on faith,” he said.

Gabriel, 38, was making $109,000 per year. County Administrator Nancy Buonanno Grennan said Gabriel’s replacement will probably be offered about 15 percent less, as was done for the replacement Parks and Recreation Director hired last month.

Grennan said the same outside search firm that hired Gabriel will be hired to conduct the search, as its guarantee provides the service for free when a candidate fails to last for two years.

“We will miss him,” South Kitsap Commissioner Charlotte Garrido said of Gabriel. “This was a bit of a surprise, but his leaving didn’t have anything to do with the job. We may hire someone from the current staff, but the search firm’s guarantee means that we can look around and see whose available for free.”

Finalizing the 2010 budget will be completed without someone in the top budget spot.

Gabriel was hired to oversee 52 employees and be responsible for an annual budget that exceeds $300 million, although both numbers were decreasing. A good part of his job was to study the overall county budget for ways that it could be reduced.

Gabriel predicts the budget cuts that are facing muncipalities nationwide will change the governing process.

“Governments need to be able to give the people a good product through these tough economic times,” he said. “Along the way, we need to realize that we cannot be all things to all people.”

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