CHIMACUM — Negotiations are progressing toward hiring Larry Dunbar as the new general manager of the Jefferson County Public Utilities District.
Commissioners Jeff Randall and Kenneth Collins on Tuesday authorized the negotiating team to finalize a contract with Dunbar, who will replace Jim Parker who left in September.Commissioner Wayne King was absent from the meeting.
Dunbar’s start date is tentatively April 23.
The resolution was introduced at Tuesday’s meeting.
“In order to introduce a contract for a public employee, we need to do that at two regular commission meetings,” explained Randall.
“This would be the first. The way the [Revised Code of Washington] RCW reads, we need to introduce the resolution for a public employee contract at two regular board meetings. It can’t be adopted until the second meeting.”
The second reading is expected at the March 20 meeting. Commissioners will meet at 5 p.m. at 230 Chimacum Road, Port Hadlock.
“What Larry said to me early on is that he wants to see this settled quickly and he’s fulfilling his side of the bargain. We are trying to be very forthright and give him something very realistic and it’s coming together quickly,” Randall said.
“I’d like to have it come together for the next board packet. I think that’s doable.”
Attorney Joel Paysner said negotiations were going well and that the two sides were working out terms and conditions.
“I think the team we have is working really well and we are developing a strong relationship with Mr. Dunbar,” said Randall.
The negotiating team includes Randall, Paysner, counsel Don McDaniel and consultant Scott Fry.
“I like our negotiating team because it has a nice balance of the legal, the consultant, the commissioner and the consultant who helped recruit Larry, and he’s negotiated many contracts like this,” Randall said. “I would like to see us continue with it.”
Randall said he believes there is a bit of irony at play with this hire.
“The funny thing is that I moved from Ellensburg to Port Townsend in 1997. Now Larry’s moving from Ellensburg to Port Townsend in 2018. I’ve been down the path he’s taking. Of course, he’s lived on the [North Olympic] Peninsula before for his position in Port Angeles.”
Dunbar is currently energy services director for the city of Ellensburg.
He was previously deputy director of power resources in Port Angeles.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected] dailynews.com.