New county emergency management director on tap

PORT TOWNSEND — An emergency management official now working in Everett is in line to replace Bob Hamlin as the director of Jefferson County’s Department of Emergency Management (DEM).

The Jefferson County commissioners today will consider approval of an employment agreement with Lynn Sterbenz, who was “the top pick from a field of 15 candidates,” said County Administrator Philip Morley.

Her salary would be $75,509 annually plus benefits.

Commissioners will consider the hiring as a part of their consent agenda during their regular meeting at 9 a.m. today at the Jefferson County Courthouse, 1820 Jefferson St.

Hamlin will retire Dec. 31, after leading the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management for 17 years.

He has worked in emergency management for 46 years, Morley said.

Sterbenz is expected to start work Dec. 5, overlapping with the final few weeks of Hamlin’s time with the department.

Sterbenz, who has worked since 2012 as the public education coordinator for Everett, stepped in as logistics section chief during the first two weeks of major emergency response to the Oso landslide in 2014, Morley said.

That experience and her time before 2012 as planning and operations coordinator for Everett’s Office of Emergency Management, set her apart from the other applicants, Morley said.

She developed an emergency management plan for the city of Everett, upgraded the emergency operations center and conducted large-scale education and training exercises, Morley said.

Sterbenz was one of four finalists who went through three interviews with citizen neighborhood preparedness groups and social services staff; county and city incident management teams; and a panel made up of Morley, County Commissioner Kathleen Kler, Port Townsend Mayor Deborah Stinson and Keppie Keplinger, public information officer for the Department of Emergency Management.

Sterbenz earned a master’s of professional studies in homeland security from Penn State, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Alaska, has worked in emergency management for the cities of Redmond and Langley and as a wildland firefighter in Alaska for four years while attending college.

More in News

Port Angeles School Superintendent Marty Brewer, second from right, speaks with members of the Port Angeles Parents for Education, on Friday about the Port Angeles Paraeducation Association strike. Assistant Superintendent Michele Olsen stands at right. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
District, PAPEA to pick up bargaining Sunday

Parent group presses officials for answers on strike

Instructor Josh Taylor, left, points out the workings of an electric vehicle on Wednesday at the Auto Technology Certification Program at Peninsula College. Nick Schommer, center, and Brian Selk get ready to do some testing on the electric auto’s parts from underneath the vehicle. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
College’s automotive technology program gets a reboot

Students can earn a certificate separate from two-year degree

Port Townsend transportation tax dollars to be put to work

Benefits district to raise $400,000 to $600,000 in first year

Retired teacher Nancy McCaleb speaks in support of striking paraeducators in the Port Angeles School District as Port Angeles Paraeducators Association President Rebecca Winters listens during a rally on Thursday at Shane Park.
About 130 rally in support of paras

District officials say funding is statewide problem

Mark Nichols.
Proposed changes to public defender caseloads could hurt rural counties

Annual limits starting in 2025 may create staffing issues

Fernando Cruz of Auburn, an employee of Specialized Pavement Marking in Pacific, cleans off a sign he used to paint a bicycle lane on Sims Way and Kearney Street, the site of the new roundabout. The workers needed at least two days of 47 degrees or above in order to paint the pedestrian crosswalks and other necessary markings. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
New bike lane in Port Townsend

Fernando Cruz of Auburn, an employee of Specialized Pavement Marking in Pacific,… Continue reading

Two-lane bypass to be installed Monday

Contractor crews working for the state Department of Transportation will… Continue reading

Twice daily bridge inspections start next week

Bridge preservation engineers from the state Department of Transportation will… Continue reading

Funding farm-to-school programs

In the 2021-2023 state budget, Washington set aside money specifically for the… Continue reading

Gus Griffin, 11, second from left, and classmates dig up weeds in one of Port Townsend’s three gardens on March 28. (Grace Deng/Washington State Standard)
Farm-to-school programs flourish in Washington

Demand from school districts outpacing state funding

Jefferson enacts 1-year moratorium on STRs

County wants to consider possible regulations for rentals