PORT HADLOCK — The Jefferson County Public Utility District is looking for its sixth chief financial officer after its most recent hire left after only six months.
Susan Carter, who took over the position in early April, returned to her home in Georgia in October, according to PUD communications manager Will O’Donnell.
Carter was the PUD’s fifth CFO since the PUD was purchased from Puget Sound Energy in 2013.
The PUD is working with the recruitment firm Mycoff, Fry & Prouse LLC to find the next CFO and hopes to have a new hire by spring, according to O’Donnell.
The PUD’s finance department also recently lost controller Kim Younger, who retired this month.
Younger’s position will have to be filled, and on top of that, the PUD also is searching for a new general manager since Jim Parker left in September.
The PUD also is working with Mycoff, Fry & Prouse LLC in order to fill these positions.
In the meantime, utility finance consultant Tammy Lehman has returned to the PUD to fill Carter’s role as CFO.
This is the second time Lehman has filled in for the CFO. Her last stint was May 2016 though March 2017, and she plans to stay in that position with the PUD until a new CFO is hired.
Lehman is one of two people who have served as interim CFOs, and Carter was the fourth permanent employee to leave the position.
The last permanent CFO before Carter was Bob Caprye, who was hired in 2015 and terminated in 2016 during an audit of the PUD’s financial records from 2012 through 2014.
During that audit the state found a few issues, but the PUD’s last audit in February on its 2015 financial records was clean.
With the turnover, a number of employees are stepping up. PUD financial service manager Mike Bailey, who started at the PUD in September after working at Consumer Powers Inc. in Oregon for 10 years, is covering some of Younger’s responsibilities.
Filling in for the general manager position is Kevin Streett, the former electrical superintendent for the PUD.
Despite the turnover in staff, Streett and Lehman say the PUD is still running smoothly, according to a press release from O’Donnell.
“Our books are more in order than ever before,” said Lehman in a statement.
Lehman added that the PUD passed its last state audit with a positive rating and that the new CFO will come into a PUD that is in a much better financial state than it had been in the past.
In the press release, Lehman and Streett state that the new CFO should have electrical utility experience, and leadership experience is a must for the new general manager.
“We need someone who understands the utility business, but also knows how to engage with the community,” Streett said in a statement from the PUD. “We’re looking for a leader, really, and if anyone can find them, it’d be Mycoff.”