Port of Port Angeles executive director’s contract before commissioners at special meeting Monday

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — An extra agenda item will be up for consideration at Monday’s Port of Port Angeles commission meeting: Executive Director Jeff Robb’s contract, just five months after commissioners unanimously gave him a 12 percent pay increase and a new three-year contract.

“Other personnel issues” also will be discussed, Port Commissioner John Calhoun said.

Robb, a longtime port employee, has asked to address the three commissioners regarding his contract, commission President Jim Hallett said Saturday.

Robb did not return calls to discuss the agenda item.

The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the port administrative offices’ meeting room at 338 W. First St.

“I don’t know what to expect,” Hallett said.

“If Jeff wants to bring something up, let’s wait and see what he has to say, whatever it might be.”

Hallett plans to ask Calhoun and fellow Commissioner Paul McHugh to add Robb’s request to the agenda at Monday’s meeting.

In separate interviews Friday, Calhoun and McHugh said in general terms that they expected to discuss Robb at Monday’s meeting.

“There will be an agenda item added to discuss some issues regarding Jeff and other personnel issues at the port, and I am going to have to leave it at that,” said Calhoun, the board’s senior member.

“I will not make any statements about it until after the meeting,” McHugh said.

Commissioners held a special meeting for 90 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday during which they held an executive session, excluding the public, “to review the performance of a public employee,” according to the meeting notice issued Tuesday.

Hallett said he requested the special meeting.

Port attorney Dave Neupert and the three commissioners were the only ones present, Hallett said.

“We had this special meeting,” Hallett said.

“As a result of that, it appears as if we are gong to be asked to consider the current executive director’s contract.

“What that means, I truly don’t know for sure, but that may be presented at Monday’s meeting.”

McHugh said discussing personnel issues in open session, with the public present, rather than in an executive session that excludes the public “would be unusual.”

According to the state open-meetings law, taking actual action on personnel matters — hiring, setting a salary and discharging or disciplining an employee — must be in open session.

Robb, executive director since 2009, received a 12 percent salary increase to $138,000 a year as of Jan. 1 on a unanimous vote by the commissioners.

Hallett, McHugh and Calhoun also gave Robb a three-year contract that replaced his one-year agreement.

“We found his performance extremely satisfying and wanted to ensure his service at the port for the near future beyond one year,” Calhoun said Dec. 9, when the commissioners approved the raise and contract.

Said Robb at the time: “I appreciate the commissioners’ confidence in me for the next three years.”

Robb has been the port’s executive director since August 2009.

A 1972 graduate of Sequim High School, Robb holds an Associate of Arts in civil engineering from Peninsula College.

He was first employed by the port in 1984 as a project engineer and public works manager before becoming airport and marina manager from November 1996 until November 1998.

He then became director of airport operations and real estate for the Port of Bremerton.

Robb returned to the Port of Port Angeles in October 1999 and served a second stint as the port’s airport and marina manager until he was named executive director.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 22. 2013 6:07PM
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