Four finalists named for Port Townsend city manager

Decision could be made Wednesday night

PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend City Council has named four finalists to replace its retiring city manager.

One could be chosen as early as Wednesday night.

All four candidates were semifinalists who were in Port Townsend to interview for the position in executive session on Monday. They were scheduled Tuesday to take part in a secondary interview process, which included a community panel.

The finalists, announced in alphabetical order, are Torie Brazitis, Keith Campbell, John Mauro and Rick Sepler.

The City Council will conduct a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, when they will retreat into an executive session and then return to chambers for a decision. They could choose to extend an offer to one candidate, or they could table the discussion and continue their search.

Without deliberating Monday night, council members unanimously approved the slate of candidates to move forward during their regular business meeting. Phil McKenney of the city-hired consulting firm Peckham & McKenney recommended all four candidates. He did not discuss their background in open session.

The city is looking to fill the position currently held by David Timmons, who is retiring June 28 after 20 years on the job as the city’s first manager. A farewell party will be held for him June 27 at the Port Townsend Public Library, 1220 Lawrence St.

The candidates

Brazitis, who recently worked as the assistant city manager in Bothell, held a similar position in Lakewood, according to her LinkedIn profile.

In Lakewood, Brazitis described her duties as assisting the city manager and department directors with managing 200 employees and a $79 million budget. She also negotiated franchise agreements with utilities for use of the city right of way and managed contracts for public defense firms and provision of court services to other cities.

Brazitis earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2012 and also has worked as a public affairs specialist in Bremerton and as press secretary for then-Congressman Jay Inslee in 2008-09.

She also served as an assistant city manager in Lone Tree, Colo.

Campbell is the current city manager in Stayton, Ore., about 12 miles southeast of Salem. He’s served in the same role since 2014.

Campbell also spent three years as the city clerk in Shawnee, Kan., and five years as the deputy county clerk in Douglas County, Kan., where he oversaw elections, according to his biography at www.staytonoregon.gov.

He received a bachelor of science degree in business administration and a master’s in public administration from the University of Kansas.

Mauro has been the chief sustainability officer in Auckland, New Zealand, for nearly five years. His LinkedIn profile describes his areas of responsibility in “policy, planning and practice in sustainable transport, land use development, renewable energy, green finance, green infrastructure, climate adaptation and mitigation, green building and air quality.”

Mauro has roots in the Pacific Northwest as a climate policy analyst for the city of Seattle from April 2005 through January 2007. He later worked as the director of policy, planning and government affairs for Cascade, a government advocacy group, and he said he secured millions of dollars for bike and pedestrian access at transit stations.

Mauro went to Middlebury College in Vermont, where he focused on environmental studies, conservation biology, science and policy from 1995-99.

Sepler has worked since 2014 as the planning and community development director in Bellingham, where he supervises 42 employees, according to his LinkedIn profile. He spent the previous eight years as the community services director in Port Townsend.

Sepler has been an affiliate faculty member of the department of urban design and planning for the past 26 years at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he’s taught classes on site planning, subdivision design and small-town planning.

He earned a master’s degree in urban planning from the UW in 1990 following bachelor’s degrees from the same university in architecture and political science in 1988.

Sepler is the president of the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association and has served as the hearings examiner in Shelton, Ferndale, Hoquiam, Mount Vernon and McCleary. He was an alternate hearings examiner for Mason County.

After press time Tuesday, the city was scheduled to host a public meet-and-greet session, where comment cards could be filled out. The comments will be added to the record Wednesday before the council considers a decision.

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Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].

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