Lewis County commissioners finalize contract with new county manager


The Board of Lewis County Commissioners has finalized a contract for a new county manager. 

Ryan Barrett will begin in the position previously held by Erik Martin on Aug. 28. 

According to a contract requested by The Chronicle, Barrett will be paid an annual salary of $177,813 with a chance for a pay increase following a performance review in six months. That’s in addition to benefits, a $400 monthly payment for use of his own vehicle and $5,000 in moving expenses, according to the contract. 

Barrett currently oversees more than 100 employees as captain of the South Correctional Entity in Des Moines.

The commissioners selected Barrett, 41, after hosting a public meet-and-greet followed by an all-day interview session that involved nearly two dozen county employees, including elected officials, department directors and others, in July.

Barrett grew up in the area and served on the Centralia City Council from 2008 to 2009. He has more than 19 years of public service in Lewis and King counties. His experience includes work in municipal management, budget oversight, labor relations and policy development, according to a previous release from the county. He’s also a former Lewis County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant.

The commissioners signed a contract with Barrett at a business meeting, Aug. 1. 

"I am honored to be selected by the Board of County Commissioners for this important role, and I am excited to lead this amazing team,” Barrett said in a news release. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the commissioners, county staff and the community to build upon Lewis County's legacy of success."

Barrett has a master’s degree in business administration from Western Governors University in Millcreek, Utah, and a bachelor’s degree in business communication from Evergreen State College in Olympia. He has been married for more than 20 years and has three children.

Barrett fills the position previously held by Martin, who left in March to join a private engineering firm. Martin was the county’s first manager.

The county manager position’s duties include providing general direction, organization and coordination of executive and administrative functions as assigned by the Board of Lewis County Commissioners. According to the contract, the position is “responsible for planning, directing, organizing, staffing and motivating the directors and managers” of the county.