Clallam County chief deputy treasurer to step in after Barkhuis resignation

Selinda Barkhuis

Selinda Barkhuis

PORT ANGELES — Teresa Marchi was appointed acting Clallam County Treasurer on Tuesday.

Marchi, the chief deputy treasurer, will serve as acting treasurer until an interim officeholder is named under a process outlined in a Clallam County ordinance.

Marchi replaces elected county Treasurer Selinda Barkhuis, who vacated the office Friday, citing “health reasons resulting from work-related stress,” with one year left on her second four-year term.

“Thank you for the opportunity to have this responsibility,” Marchi told the three commissioners after taking an oath of office.

A selection panel consisting of Human Resources Director Rich Sill, Auditor Shoona Riggs and Assessor Pam Rushton will recommend up to three candidates for commissioners to interview for interim treasurer.

The interim treasurer will hold the position until voters elect a treasurer in November 2018.

Marchi and Michael Cobb, who ran unsuccessfully for Port of Port Angeles commissioner last month, have said they intend to apply for the interim post.

Barkhuis on Friday turned over nearly $99.5 million in liquid taxpayer funds as witnessed by Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mark Ozias, Riggs, Marchi and others in the treasurer’s office.

The witnesses signed off on a “Delivery and Receipt of Public Money in the Treasurer’s Possession” document.

The county treasurer acts as a “bank” for the county, school districts, fire districts and other junior taxing districts within the county, according to the Clallam County website.

The treasurer disburses, invests and accounts for funds of various local governments and collects taxes that benefit local governments.

Ozias officiated the swearing-in ceremony and thanked Marchi for her willingness to serve as acting treasurer. Marchi is a 35-year employee of the treasurer’s office.

“I want you to know that you have the full support of the commissioners and the commissioners’ office and the entire organization in helping to effect a successful transition,” Ozias told Marchi.

“I personally deeply appreciate your willingness to take over this leadership. It’s such an important role for the county — for the citizens of the county — and the responsibility is great.”

Barkhuis attended the meeting and endorsed her longtime colleague as acting treasurer.

“Teresa, you more than anybody else, know the enormity of the responsibility I’ve just turned over to you,” Barkhuis said.

Barkhuis also thanked Ozias and Commissioner Randy Johnson for their support in recent years.

“I know from my heart that the two of you don’t mean me any harm, and that means a lot to me,” Barkhuis said.

“And that’s really all I want to say today.”

During her seven years as treasurer, Barkhuis feuded with past Boards of County Commissioners, Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols and County Administrator Jim Jones over a range of issues.

She called for Jones’ ouster and took a medical leave of absence in 2015 after a quarrel with that board over the disbursement of $1.3 million in Opportunity Fund grants.

Ozias praised Barkhuis for her record and years of service to the county.

Barkhuis, a licensed attorney, joined the county in 2003. She coordinated salmon restoration efforts as Lead Entity facilitator.

She then spent five productive years as senior planner in the Department of Community Development, where she drafted Limited Areas of More Intense Rural Development provisions, the original code compliance title and a junk vehicle ordinance, Ozias said.

“In her years as treasurer, in my opinion, one of the real highlights of Selinda’s service is the tax and timber report that she’s developed and created and produced each year,” Ozias said.

The annual tax and timber reports are available at www.clallam.net/Treasurer.

“It’s work like that that helps to demystify county government for citizens and for others within government alike,” Ozias said.

“I think when you put all of those together, what we see is a real passion for serving the people of this community and a real dedication to her work in every position she was in.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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