PORT ANGELES — The public will take part Monday when two Clallam County Public Utility District commissioners start interviewing 14 applicants who want to fill a board vacancy.
The empty seat was created by the July 15 resignation of 24-year incumbent Hugh Haffner.
Ted Simpson and Will Purser will conduct four public 45-minutes interviews beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, eight beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday and two at 10 a.m. Wednesday, all at the main office at 104 Hooker Road, Carlsborg.
The public also can ask the applicants questions.
Interviews will be held Monday first with Donald Roth, then with Randall Brackett, Michael McBride and Marty Michaelis.
Tuesday will be Marc Sullivan, Stanton Creasey, Harold “Butch” Thayer, John “Jack” Smith, David Anderson, Rick Paschall, Patti Morris and Cameron Bruce.
Wednesday morning will be William Hannan and Robert Larsen.
The public will be allowed to ask questions of the applicants, Purser said Friday, adding it was “the fair thing to do” to interview all of them.
He said he and Simpson plan to discuss the applicants’ qualifications in public session at a future meeting before selecting someone to fill Haffner’s two-year unexpired term before the Oct. 15 state-mandated deadline.
“Basically, it will all be in a public meeting,” Purser said.
Haffner, who represented Port Angeles-Sequim-area District 2, resigned due to health reasons while under investigation for a sexual harassment complaint. The investigation was dropped after he announced his departure.
Purser, a commissioner since 2001, said the decision will be among the most important he will make as a commissioner.
He said he hopes the person who replaces Haffner will run for a full six-year term in 2018 when the term expires.
Purser said he has reviewed the applications, which include questions on interest and expertise related to the position and the role of a PUD commissioner.
“I’m concerned personally with people that have some kind of agenda and really want to change the direction of the PUD,” he said, citing, as an example, utility rates. “I think people in the district are getting a pretty good deal.
“We need to try to ferret that out and see if there is some of that.
“Personally, it would concern me,” he said.
“If people want a new agenda, want to change the direction of the board, that’s fine, let’s get all of our customer base on board and give them the full story of what the consequences are.”
Purser praised the candidates.
“We’ve got some good applicants,” he said.
Morris, the only woman who has applied, also is the only applicant whose immediate family works for the PUD.
Her husband, Larry Morris, is the safety manager.
“It doesn’t disqualify someone out of hand, but it would have to be discussed,” Purser said.
“It might be a bit awkward for the employee and the commissioners.”
Morris, an unsuccessful 2012 Clallam County commissioner candidate, said Friday that there are no plans for her husband to leave his PUD position but was not sure he would continue working for the utility if she is selected.
“It will be a decision we will make,” she said, as the commissioners draw closer to choosing Haffner’s successor.
Peninsula Daily News obtained the applications under state Public Records Act request.
Here are the names, the applicants’ areas of residence, and their job status, with personal information such as street addresses redacted:
• David Anderson, Port Angeles, former Seattle City Light project manager.
• Randall C. Brackett, Carlsborg, former public works manager and deputy director of public works operations for the city of Port Angeles.
• Cameron K. Bruce, Sequim, former director and supervisory electronics engineer at Naval Air Warfare Center.
• Stanton Creasey, Port Angeles, Clallam County Auditor’s Office chief accountant, who said Friday he is retiring in March.
• William Hannan, Sequim, former chief financial officer for Peninsula Behavioral Health and a Port of Port Angeles commissioner from 2002-2007.
• Robert P. Larsen, Port Angeles, former chief executive officer, president and treasurer of the Composite Recycling Technology Center in Port Angeles.
• Michael G. McBride, Port Angeles, licensed psychologist with private practice in Sequim who said in his application he is moving toward retirement.
• Marty Michaelis, Port Angeles, front-end manager in grocery industry.
• Patti Morris, Port Angeles, owner, Patti Morris Consulting in areas of land use and grant writing, former marketing services manager Tuscon Electric Power Co.
• Rick Paschall, Sequim, former analyst Portland (Ore.) General Electric for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission compliance.
• Donald Roth, Port Angeles, former senior project manager Wells Fargo Bank.
• John W. (Jack) Smith, Sequim, former local area manager, Snohomish County Public Utility District.
• Marc Sullivan, Sequim, policy director-project organizing director, NW Energy Coalition.
• Harold (Butch) Thayer, Carlsborg, former crane operator and Army Corps of Engineers power plant mechanic leader.
The applications can be read at https://tinyurl.com/PDN-PUDapplications.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.