Sequim City Manager Steve Burkett believes hiring Paul Haines of Holden Village, near Chelan, as Sequim's new public works director, will boost the culture and morale at the department.
Haines has more than 30 years of experience as a professional engineer.
He has served as public works director or city engineer in Washington, Oregon, California and Colorado.
"He's an excellent leader and has high technical qualifications," Burkett said.
"The important thing is he builds relationships with staff, city council and community people."
Burkett and Haines worked together in Shoreline from 2002-2006 in the same positions they hold now in Sequim.
"We are both aware of our respective strengths and weaknesses and share a common approach to leadership and management," Burkett said.
Haines will be in charge of Sequim's water supply and distribution, wastewater, landscaping, street maintenance, parks construction and maintenance, and building and vehicle maintenance.
Burkett said Haines' upcoming projects would include:
_ Assessment of public works as a whole
_ City Hall
_ Connectivity around city
_ Sewer treatment plant upgrade
_ Street improvement projects
_ Storm drainage
Haines begins work April 19.
Sticking around isn't a concern for Burkett or Haines.
"I feel very confident," Burkett said.
"We've had a series of interim people, so it was important to get someone who is a good fit."
Haines will be taking over from Jim Pemberton, interim public works director.
"Jim (Pemberton) has done a great job," Burkett said.
"I approached him about taking the job, but he wanted summers off."
Pemberton took over in December 2009 after Ben Rankin quit after six months of employment.
Burkett believes the city can wait until Haines begins.
Pemberton will overlap Haines' start so he can ease him into the position, Burkett said.
"I feel fortunate to have someone with Paul's experience and talent to lead the department and help us achieve the city council's vision for our community," Burkett said.
After spending a weekend here, Haines said he found the people friendly and believes Sequim has a distinct identity.
"There are a lot more people who call Sequim home who aren't in city limits," he said.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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