Fort Worden director no longer interim

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Fort Worden State Park now has a permanent director.

Brian Hageman was informed last week that the “interim” has been removed from his title.

“I’m permanent,” he said Tuesday, adding, “I would like to spend the rest of my career here.”

Hageman, 41, was appointed in January as a temporary replacement for Allison Alderman, who resigned from the position after serving for less than a year.

The new designation will not affect his $76,536 annual salary, Hageman said.

The decision was made administratively and did not require board approval, he said.

Hageman now oversees the entire state park, though that would change with the agreement between State Parks and the Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center Public Development Authority, now expected to go into effect in May.

The PDA board will consider Thursday submitting a draft lease agreement to the State Parks and Recreation Commission.

First, however, it will consider the comment and lease details given at a public meeting Tuesday night.

The PDA’s special meeting Thursday is from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Cotton Building, 607 Water St.

The state commission is expected to act on the lease proposal at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at its regular meeting in Anacortes.

A unanimous vote is required for commission approval of any 50-year lease.

The proposed agreement is that the PDA would manage the campus area — about one-fourth of the 434-acre park, which contains most of the buildings — as a “lifelong learning center,” while State Parks would continue management of the campgrounds, Chinese gardens, trails, lighthouse and shoreline.

Hageman said he would be involved in managing the transition for the park.

“We will continue to do what the parks have always done best,” he said.

“If we were going to continue to manage the conference business, they would get someone else in here with a business degree, since my background is in park management.” Park layoffs are expected as part of the transition.

Sixteen of the 26 Fort Worden employees will lose their jobs in the next three years, mostly in customer service, reservations and maintenance.

“It was bittersweet when I announced this to the staff. I couldn’t really celebrate my job because at the same time, other people will be losing theirs,” Hageman said.

“But the opportunities will still be there to work in the park, although it will be for a different employer.”

For information about the PDA, visit www.fwpda.org.

For information about state commission meetings, visit http://tinyurl.com/7lslrem.



Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 30. 2013 6:12PM
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