PORT ANGELES — Geoff James has resigned his position as Port of Port Angeles executive director and port commissioners have appointed Director of Operations Paul Jarkiewicz interim director.
At Tuesday’s meeting, District 3 Commissioner Connie Beauvais said James had been on personal leave and submitted his letter of resignation June 1.
A reason for James’ departure was not given at the meeting and the former director did not immediately respond to request for comment. Beauvais said James did not give a reason for his resignation to commissioners.
Beauvais said commissioners could discuss the hiring of a permanent replacement in August or early September.
Beauvais said James served as director for two years and in that time had brought additional businesses into the port and helped to secure grants for the port’s logyard.
“The port wishes him will in his future endeavors,” Beauvais said.
Jarkiewicz had been serving as executive director in James’ absence, and will continue in that role until a replacement — which may be Jarkiewicz himself — is found. Jarkiewicz has not yet applied for the position, Beauvais said.
Commissioners directed port staff to draft and negotiate a compensation package for Jarkiewicz. According to Beauvais, James’ annual salary was $173,040.
District 1 Commissioner Colleen McAleer said she was confident in the abilities of Jarkiewicz and other port staff and that the commission should take its time in finding a replacement.
“We have a lot of talent and senior directors on staff that can certainly pick up the mantle and continue to move us forward,” McAleer said. “We’re not in any position where we need to react quickly. I feel good about our current situation.”
The other commissioners agreed, saying they wanted to see how Jarkiewicz performed in the role.
District 2 Commissioner Steven Burke said he approved of not beginning the search for a new director immediately, but noted that interim directors might be less inclined to move forward with large projects because of their temporary status.
Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.