Clallam Economic Development Council board ponders next move after interim director's resignation

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County Economic Development Council officials met Monday to discuss Saturday's sudden resignation of interim Executive Director Tim Smith.

EDC board President Brian Kuh would not comment on what transpired.

“I really can't comment further on this right now as we're working to address the vacancy,” Kuh said in an email.

“But we're otherwise moving forward with the planned economic development summit in partnership with Peninsula College, WSU and our funding partners — as directed by the EDC board.”

Kuh said he would have more information about the vacancy “in the coming days.”

Earlier Monday, Smith turned in his office key and cleaned out his desk in the EDC office at the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center on Eighth Street.

It only took him about 10 minutes.

“It was kind of a relief,” Smith said later.

“I don't have any ill will whatsoever.”

Smith also said goodbye to half-time administrative assistant Jennifer Linde.

“Now she's the only employee they have,” Smith said.

Smith, retired economic development director at Port Angeles City Hall, abruptly resigned Saturday after 28 days as interim EDC director, citing the lack of “a clear direction” on how he might best serve the organization.

He reiterated that the “linchpin” of his decision was a meeting Friday that he was not invited to and also was not attended by any board officers.

“I think that was really inappropriate,” he said of the get-together.

“It went directly against the direction of the board meeting from the week prior.

“It was a small group that had assembled to talk about summit planning, and the board had wanted the entire executive committee involved, which included all of the officers.

“None of the officers were in that meeting. I just think it was really inappropriate, and that's just not how I operate.”

He also said Saturday he was upset by a Friday email from EDC board member Colleen McAleer that suggested Smith set up an executive meeting soon and included potential summit-related survey questions.

Smith said the email was “confusing” and did not coincide with what he and board officers had already discussed.

McAleer said she was making suggestions and had meant to be “helpful and supportive” of Smith.

Smith was 28 days into a 120-day contract that paid him $29 an hour.

Smith said he will continue his efforts to bring the economic development efforts of four Port Angeles business groups together under the umbrella of a group he tentatively has named PA United.

Representatives from the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, CEO Group, Port Angeles Downtown Association and Port Angeles Business Association will meet at 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the meeting room of the Vern Burton Community Center at 308 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles

The meeting is open to the public.

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladaily
news.com.

Last modified: January 27. 2014 7:12PM
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