Staff photo/Hayley Day Gretchen Krampf reads quality and character recommendations for a new director from port staff at the Jan. 25 meeting. Krampf was hired by the port to compile the recommendations.

Port commissioners ask staff for director recommendations

The Port of Friday Harbor commissioners are looking for a new executive director, so they started by asking staff for recommendations.

“We wanted to find out what the staff thought was important,” Commissioner Greg Hertel told The Journal.

Recommendations, gathered on Jan. 23-24 by a hired consultant, were presented at the Jan. 25 port meeting. The 39 points presented, included characteristics like accepting of others’ input, respectful of subordinates and not making rash decisions. If the job includes aspects of the facilities manager’s position, the report suggests it be included in the executive director’s job description.

Ted Fitzgerald resigned as executive director at the port on Jan. 16, after working for about six months. It was about two months into his position that Fitzgerald eliminated the position of facilities manager at the port — an unpopular decision with some current and former staff, as well as port customers. Fitzgerald and commissioners have said the position was eliminated for financial reasons, while the last person in the position, Joe Wheeler, has said it was personal. Wheeler worked at the port for about five years and was a manager for about two. The position existed for about 30 years.

Airport plans

At the meeting, commissioners agreed to hire contractor Kauffman & Associates to work on the Friday Harbor Airport Master Plan.

The airport is also working with a Canadian pilot to offer roundtrip, scheduled flights, about weekly. Requirements for the U.S. Customs and Border Control are almost complete and work on Federal Aviation Administration requirements has begun.