Port of Poulsbo executive director resigns

POULSBO — Brad Miller, the Port of Poulsbo’s executive director, offered his resignation on Monday, March 26 following a port commission decision to eliminate his position within the port’s management structure.

The decision came after the continuation of a special meeting, originally held on Wednesday, March 21 to rework the port’s management structure. In addition to the removal of the executive director position, two new positions were created — maintenance manager and business manager. Carol Tripp, the port’s accountant, will take on the role of business manager.

Port Commission Chairman Mark DeSalvo said the elimination of the position and Miller’s subsequent resignation had not resulted from any wrongdoing on the director’s behalf, but rather a unanimous decision by the commission to move the port in a different management direction.

“As far as what we needed from the port, we were in concurrence that [Miller] was not the best fit for where we were going to move forward,” DeSalvo said. “We need to refocus on customer service and employee relations.”

According to DeSalvo, Miller will be compensated for his unused vacation time and also receive severance pay. While the port looks for a maintenance manager to fill Miller’s duties, Port of Poulsbo Commissioner Jonothan Saunders will oversee maintenance staff at the marina in the interim.

“Brad has done a good job. This is not a statement on his ability, this is a statement on a shift in paradigm that I want and that this commission wants to focus on,” DeSalvo said. “I’ve got some big projects coming. I need to find somebody who is a professional project manager, that has been in these sorts of situations, multi-million dollar projects as we redo the seawall and the dock expansion.”

DeSalvo also commended Miller’s service to the port. “We need to find the right person for [the position] and Brad has done a great job with where he came from and what we asked him to do, but he may not be the right fit for that moving forward.”

It was a hard decision, but ultimately one that had to be made, DeSalvo said.

“It’s always a hard decision, especially when you’ve got somebody who’s worked as hard as he has,” he said. “It’s a breakup, there’s no good way to break up. That’s why it was hours of consultation within executive session, coming to these sorts of decisions. It wasn’t taken lightly, I’ll tell you that much.”

Miller made it clear that his departure has not left any bad blood between him and the port commission.

“The port has been very good to me over that past 10+ years,” he said in an email. “There are no hard feelings about the board’s decision to restructure. Their plans simply do not align with mine. I am going to miss this place, but I am looking forward to new opportunities.”

— Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at ntwietmeyer@soundpublishing.com.

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