PORT TOWNSEND — The city of Port Townsend’s newest hire, Heidi Greenwood, is getting settled in to her new community.
Greenwood has been named city attorney, replacing Steve Gross who has become the city attorney for Auburn. Her salary is $116,812.
Greenwood said she has big shoes to fill.
“I’m in Steve Gross’ office. He leased me his condo. I’ve basically become Steve Gross. I’m told I need to start wearing bow ties and smoking cigars. I’m OK with the bow ties, but not the cigar.”
Greenwood comes to Port Townsend from Port Angeles where she was senior assistant city attorney.
“I was No. 2 in their legal shop. I worked on the civil side,” she said.
Originally from Port Orchard, Greenwood’s parents still live there. And she said she’s happy to be a bit closer to home.
She earned her undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University and received a degree from Cornell Law School in Ithaca, N.Y.
Greenwood spent a year working for the federal government, then was an intelligence analyst for Northrop Grumman for a couple of years.
“I love Washington state. While I was living in Washington, D.C., I thought I needed to move home to be closer to my family and the place I love. There really are two different countries: the East Coast and the West Coast. I’m definitely West Coast.
“And I don’t own enough black clothing to live east of the Mississippi.”
She moved back to Washington state and went to work for the city of Port Angeles.
“I was with Port Angeles for 11 years. I loved it there. If this wasn’t a great opportunity or a great staff I’d still be there. It was hard to leave there, but it’s exciting to come here.”
She’s hit the ground running, preparing for some upcoming negotiations.
“We’re starting union negotiations with the Teamsters. That’s everyone but the police. I was involved in the union negotiations in Port Angeles so I’m excited about this,” she said.
“We’re also working on the cable franchise agreement with Wave Broadband and their ability to use the right of way for their cables and their infrastructure. Monday night we talked about the multi-family tax exemption. Then there’s the sub-area plan, and fire annexation.
“I come with some HR and labor experience that was attractive to the city. I sat at the negotiation table with the unions, Port Angeles had five bargaining units and I worked with them all, some of them twice.”
She said Port Townsend and Port Angeles have several similarities.
“We’re both isolated communities here on the northern Olympic Peninsula. Port Townsend has more ties to the east side of the sound because we are closer, plus there is the ferry. We face a lot of the same issues; we both have paper mills and waterfronts.
“Port Townsend is such a beautiful city. I was walking around downtown last week thinking what a beautiful place I’ve moved to,” she said.
“The lovely old Victorian buildings, the boats, sitting on the beach watching the sailboats and ferries — I can understand why we have so many tourists. It’s so lovely here.”
As a teenager, Greenwood spent time hiking through Fort Worden State Park. She plans to take evening walks along the trails. She also wants to recreate her lunchtime activity.
“I had a three-mile loop along the water for a lunch time walk in Port Angeles. I will start this again here and I’m sure I’ll find many routes to enjoy along the water.”
Greenwood said the job transition has been smooth and enjoyable.
“Everyone has been so kind and I’m anxious to leave my mark in the city. I’ve known Steve for a long time. He’s given me his direct line and said to call anytime.”
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or a [email protected]