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Port selects former banker to help find its next CEO

After a short executive session, the Port of Bremerton commissioners announced Tuesday that they have selected Jim Carmichael to help them  find the port’s next CEO.

Carmichael is the former CEO of Kitsap Bank, and although he was not at the port meeting Tuesday, port commission chairman Larry Stokes said he hoped Carmichael would accept this invitation and join the three commissioners as they review resumes.

The port is looking to replace CEO Tim Thomson who has announced his plans to retire at the end of the year. In his 14-year career with the port, Thomson has overseen growth in the port’s two marinas and its industrial park.

At an earlier meeting, Stokes said he wanted to add a fourth person from the community to help the commissioners select the next CEO. Stokes made a strong speech saying that there were rumors that he had someone in mind for the job.

“I want to make it perfectly clear that I have not talked to anyone, or considered anyone for this position,” he said. Stokes said he expected that the decision would be made by the commissioners and asked that a fourth person be selected and appointed soon.

Following that request, the board of commissioners agreed Tuesday on Carmichael. He retired from  Kitsap Bank last year after 35 years with the bank.

The port CEO job description had been posted for the past month and applications are being accepted by the port’s attorney, Gordon Walgren. The number of applications received is not being made public, but Stokes said that as soon as they know whether Carmichael is willing to take part, the committee will begin reviewing resumes and setting up a schedule for interviews. They hope to make a selection  by Dec. 1.

In another matter, port commissioners voted to award a roofing job to Hanley Construction, Inc. of Port Orchard.

After a competitive bid process, Hanley was selected as the low bidder for the re-roofing of the Pre-cast Building at 5648 Imperial Way in the Olympic View Industrial Park. Their bid was $64,910. The estimated cost was set at $82,000 and

funds were set-aside in the 2013 port budget for the project.

But when the subject of the re-roofing came up last month, Commissioner Roger Zabinski said he didn’t think it was prudent to re-roof a vacant building, not knowing if the port would find a tenant for it in the future.

The  building is open on three sides and has a large crane which previously used to move concrete septic tanks. It was used for pre-casting those tanks.

Commissioners Axel Strakeljahn and Larry Stokes took issue with Zabinski and said if the building wasn’t re-roofed, it would be useless.

They also mentioned that it would cost upward of $50,000 to have the building torn down.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Zabinski seemed to have changed his mind.

“My understanding is that we have potential tenant who will be using the building for what it was originally made for,” he said. “With that in mind, we most likely would not have to do other improvements. So it makes sense at this point to roof the building. It seems like a good use of our resources.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, Zabinski also asked that  commissioners set a work study session to discuss changing the composition of the commission from three to five members.

“I’ve had constituents ask me about this and I think we need to discuss it,” Zabinski said.

He said they should look at adding two at-large members to the commission.

While neither Stokes or Strakeljahn thought increasing the number of commissioners was a good idea, they agreed to talk about it at a future work study session.

Commissioners also agreed to consider a rate study to look at whether lease rates for vacant property in the industrial park needed to be increased. The matter came up while the commission was considering extending a lease with AmeriGas Propane L.P.

The company has leased property to store propane tanks since 1993. At the current rate of $248 a month, Stokes said the company was paying about $8 a day.

“That’s less than I pay to park a car in downtown Bremerton for a day,” he said. “I think we need to think about having a minimum amount, say $500 a month, or $6,000 a year.”

He also wants to see a surcharge added to leases based on the number of trucks that use the port’s roads daily.

While commissioners agreed to look at rates down the road, Zabinski and Strakeljahn voted to approve the lease for five years, the matter passing two to one.

Commissioners also heard an annual report from the Bremerton Motorsport’s Park which is a requirement under their lease of port property.

Mike Burdick, board member of the Bremerton Motorsport’s Park, updated commissioners on the park’s business plan, their financial projections and plans to expand to include a motocross track.

Commissioners will take up the port’s 2014 budget next meeting.

 

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