Port of Port Townsend chief finalists to meet public

Four candidates picked from 45 applicants

PORT TOWNSEND — The public will be able to meet the four finalists for the Port of Port Townsend executive director position on Tuesday.

Port commissioners announced the candidates late Wednesday after an executive session. They had narrowed their candidate pool for the new executive director from 45 initial applicants to four finalists: Eron Berg, Andy Haub, Travis Matheson and Anthony Warfield.

“This is an extremely strong set of candidates,” said Jim Pivarnik, interim executive director, in a press release issued Friday.

“It’s going to be a tough choice for the commissioners, but the public will be well-served by any choice they make.”

Starting Tuesday, the four candidates will enter a two-day interview period. During the day on Tuesday, the candidates will meet with invited stakeholders (including marine trade leaders, moorage tenants and pilots) and port employees, before meeting with the general public, Pivarnik said.

The candidates will meet with the public at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Northwest Maritime Center at 421 Water St.

“We urge people to come and meet our finalists for themselves,” Pivarnik said. “The members of the commission want to hear from as many people as possible before making a final decision.”

The port commissioners are scheduled to meet with the candidates in an executive session on Wednesday, but a final decision on the selected candidate for executive director may not be made until Jan. 22, Pivarnik said.

Here are more details about the candidates.

• Berg has served as the city supervisor and city attorney for the City of Sedro Woolley since 2007. He reports to the elected mayor and is responsible for day-to-day operations and legal guidance, Pivarnik said.

The city has a staff of 90 people and an annual budget of $38 million.

Berg is an elected commissioner of the Skagit Public Utility District, which supplies water to 65,000 residents and businesses. He is also a former mayor of LaConner — where he grew up — serving from 1999 to 2003, Pivarnik said.

Berg has worked with the Port of Skagit on several projects, including infrastructure planning, permitting and sustaining the Swinomish Channel, Pivarnik said.

Before entering into government, Berg earned his law degree at the University of Washington and a master of science in psychology at Western Washington University. He also worked as an attorney at Cascade Law Center, Pivarnik said.

• Haub served as the water resources director for Olympia, retiring in April of 2019 after working for city for 28 years.

He has worked in the roles of project engineer, program coordinator, planning and engineering manager and most recently the water resources director, Pivarnik said.

When he was the water resources director, he was responsible for 70 employees and a $30 million budget, Pivarnik said.

Haub has led research about the impacts of rising sea levels on downtown Olympia and was the primary liaison with community groups, governments and the city council, Pivarnik said.

Haub has a home in Port Townsend and keeps a sailboat at the Boat Haven Marina, Pivarnik said.

Prior to his work with the city of Olympia, he earned a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Washington and worked in design engineering in Bellevue and well as a shop foreman in a welding and machine shop in Montana, Pivarnik said.

• Matheson works for the State Patrol in Olympia as the lead of the property management division. He has worked for the State Patrol since 1992, Pivarnik said.

Matheson was promoted to the lead position in 2019 after serving as a captain for seven years prior and now oversees about 300 State Patrol facilities across the state, 63 employees and a $153 million two-year budget, Pivarnik said.

Currently, Matheson also is serving as the chair of the Port of Olympia citizens advisory committee, Pivarnik said.

Prior positions that Matheson has held with the State Patrol include starting as a trooper and moving up the ranks to a sergeant on the bomb squad, a lieutenant in the Homeland Security Division and then the Criminal Investigation Division. Later, he worked as a White House Fellow in 2007 and 2008 under President George W. Bush, working on transportation issues, Pivarnik said.

Matheson holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington, Pivarnik said.

• Warfield has worked for the Port of Tacoma as the senior manager of facilities development since 2012. He started at the port in in 2008, Pivarnik said.

In his current position, Warfield oversees construction projects in terms of spill response, permit compliance and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) compliance, Pivarnik said.

He also assists port tenants with improvement projects, Pivarnik said.

Previously, Warfield worked on transportation planning and environmental issues with the state Department of Transportation and also worked on environmental issues with the state Department of Ecology and Boeing, Pivarnik said.

Warfield holds a master’s degree in regional planning from Washington State University. He is a native of Port Townsend and owns a home in the town, Pivarnik said.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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