Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Former Longview Exec Hired at Port of Port Angeles

Former Port of Longview Executive Director Ken O’Hollaren, who retired at the end of 2012 after more than three decades on the job, is back, but this time at the Port of Port Angeles.

On July 29, the Port Angeles Port Commission unanimously voted to hire O’Hollaren as the port’s interim executive director. He’s expected to start the week of Aug. 5.

According to commission President Jim Hallett, O’Hollaren will earn roughly $11,500 a month for about six to nine months while the port seeks a permanent executive director.

O’Hollaren’s hiring is the latest twist in an odd, ongoing saga surrounding the executive director job. Jeff Robb resigned from the position June 24 citing health reasons, but was immediately rehired by the three-member commission as director of environmental affairs, a newly created position for which he’s scheduled to earn the same salary as when he held the top executive job.

Port Commissioner John Calhoun later revealed that Robb was given the job because the port feared the potential of a lawsuit over a dysfunctional relationship between Robb and senior staff members.

The handling of Robb’s resignation and immediate rehiring has drawn the ire of local, regional and state watchdog groups, including the Washington Coalition for Open Government, which on July 22 sent the commission a letter chastising it for its actions and petitioning for the removal of Robb from the environmental affairs director post.

O’Hollaren, until his retirement, had been the longest-tenured port director in Washington state, and one of the longest-tenured maritime executives on the West Coast. He joined the Port of Longview as assistant operations manager in 1980, and was its executive director from January 1988 through December 2012.

At the Port of Port Angeles, he will technically be a contractor during his several-month tenure, with the port obtaining his services through Seattle-based executive search firm Waldron & Co.