PORT TOWNSEND — After months of lamenting the shortage of human resources at City Hall, Port Townsend City Manager John Mauro brought good news to the City Council Workshop meeting this week.
He announced two major recruits.
The city’s director of finance and technology, Nora Mitchell, who is retiring March 1, will be replaced by Connie Anderson, assistant director of administrative services for Sequim.
The new role of director of parks and recreation strategy will be filled by Carrie Hite, someone Mauro said he had been courting for the job for a year.
Hite and Anderson’s salaries are $130,897 and $131,676, respectively.
Mauro said he was “thrilled”, “grateful” and “lucky” to add the two to what he calls the municipal government team sport.
Planning for the future of Port Townsend parks and golf course is a high priority in the 2022 work plan, a lengthy document that Mauro presented to council last month and again last Monday evening.
Hite, 58, has had her place in Port Townsend for some time, despite having been Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Redmond for 2½ years. She originally offered to help Mauro recruit for the position of Director of Parks Strategy. He replied that he wanted her for that.
“It’s exciting for me because it’s a great visionary position, working with the community,” Hite said in an interview.
One of the many projects she will be working on after taking office on April 1: the golf course.
Hite’s understanding is that he “needs a vision on how to reuse it”, so his task is to engage the residents of Port Townsend and remake the municipal course into “something that is loved by the community”. community”.
Planning for the Mountain View Commons campus and planning for the future of the pool will also be on Hite’s agenda.
“I know water sports are something people enjoy and love and want,” she said.
Anderson, 57, will start her new job on March 16 and said she will continue to live in Sequim for the time being.
Working for this city, “I learned and grew,” she says.
“It’s hard to leave my Sequim family,” but it’s a step up, career-wise and salary-wise.
“I want to be part of the solutions and find ways to solve the problems,” said Anderson, who has worked for the city of Sequim for 15 years.
Among Port Townsend’s lingering problems – called “challenges” in public meetings – are shortcomings in the police, development services and other municipal service workforces.
Port Townsend’s to-do list, aka the 2022 work plan, is full of projects big and small. An affordable housing development with a $1.3 million state grant, a new public library program and a dog park shelter are some of the things the city council discussed this week.
“I am currently working to hire six to seven police officers,” Port Townsend Police Chief Tom Olson told the council; he’s looking for both entry-level and lateral recruits.
His department relies on overtime pay and help from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to cover 25 or more shifts a month, Olson added.
“Our response time is always good,” he said.
Pamela Martinez, the city’s new director of personnel and performance, called the current job market the toughest she’s seen in 15 years of working as a recruiter. Department heads like Olson are getting creative in their tactics, she added.
The city is also looking for a director of development services, aka director of planning, to replace Lance Bailey, who left in December to take up a position in Monroe. Port Townsend Library is looking to hire a Director of Youth Services and Outreach and a Replacement Library Assistant.
The finance department needs a network administrator and the police department needs a community services officer.
Job offers and the 2022 work plan can be viewed on the city’s website, www.cityofpt.us. While “Job Opportunities” is a link on the site’s homepage, the work plan is on the agenda for last Monday’s town council meeting.
To read it, go to the Government menu on the homepage, then Agendas and Videos and look under Archived Meetings from 2022 to find the agenda for the February 14 workshop.