PUD commissioners to interview 14 candidates for vacancy

PORT ANGELES — All 14 candidates from Port Angeles and Sequim who are vying to replace former Clallam County Public Utility District Commissioner Hugh Haffner will be interviewed in public session, board President Ted Simpson said Monday.

Simpson and PUD Commissioner Will Purser had the option at Monday’s meeting to pick finalists for the position, but decided not to narrow the field of applicants to fill out Haffner’s two-year unexpired term, Simpson said following a 40-minute executive session.

The applicants from Port Angeles are David Anderson, Stanton Creasey, Robert P. Larsen, Michael McBride, Marty Michaelis, Patricia J. Morris, Donald G. Roth, and Harold “Butch” Thayer.

The applicants from Sequim are Randall C. Brackett, Cameron K. Bruce, William M. Hannan, Ricky “Rick” T. Paschall, John W. “Jack” Smith and Marc J. Sullivan.

The first round of interviews will be Wednesday or Thursday at the PUD main office at 104 Hooker Road, Carlsborg, PUD spokeswoman Nicole Clark said.

Haffner, who served on the board for 24 years, resigned effective July 15 citing health concerns after suffering a stroke and while under investigation for a sexual harassment complaint that was dropped shortly after he announced his resignation.

Simpson said the closed meeting Monday focused generally on the candidates who wanted to fill out Haffner’s two-year unexpired term for the Port Angeles-Sequim-area District 2 position.

Simpson said he and Purser talked about “nobody in particular.”

The selection process is “a big job,” he added.

“I guess my comment would be that they are all good candidates.

“They all have strong attributes and good reasons to pick them.

“I was really surprised at the quality, if you will, of the applicants.”

Simpson said the interviews will last about 20-30 minutes each.

Two of the candidates live out of town and will not be available until mid-August.

Commissioners have until Oct. 15 to choose a successor.

The candidates filled out one-page applications with information including their length of residency in Clallam County, their voter registration numbers and their interest, experience and expertise in the commissioner position.

They also were asked to describe the role of a PUD commissioner.

Haffner was appointed to a two-year term in 1994. He ran unopposed in 1996, defeated Bill Roberds in 2002, defeated Bob Jensen in 2008 and was unopposed in 2014.

PUD commissioners are paid a $2,567 monthly salary, or $30,804 annually.

They also receive $128 daily per diem for meetings and other PUD-related business for a maximum annual salary and per diem amount of $48,724, and 75 cents a mile for official business.

Like PUD employees, benefits include life insurance and coverage under the Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Commissioners, their immediate families and dependents receive the same medical, dental and vision insurance as PUD employees.

Commissioners hire the general manager, treasurer and auditor. They approved an annual budget that for 2018 is $67 million for electric operations, $7 million for water operations and $58,500 for sewer operations.

It includes $20 million in reserves and three-year rate increases that began this year.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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