Clallam PUD appoints Purvis to commissioner’s role

The Clallam County Public Utility District has selected John Purvis to fill the empty seat on the board after multiple rounds of candidate interviews.

Purvis, 60, is a 16-year Clallam County resident and currently works as the assistant general manager for Clallam PUD, but he said he will resign from his position to take the role effective May 1.

“I realize elevating a staff member to this position may raise some eyebrows in the community, but his years of experience are invaluable,” PUD Commissioner Ken Hays said following an executive session on April 24.

Purvis will take over for Rick Paschall, 65, who resigned from the three-member board in early March. The six-year unexpired term will be up for election in 2024.

Purvis has more than 40 years of experience in power utility systems, earning two degrees from Christian Brothers University: one in civil engineering and one in electrical engineering.

In addition to his experience, Purvis came with letters of recommendation from a number of community leaders, such as Colleen McAleer, executive director of the Clallam County Economic Development Council; Karen Affeld, executive director of the North Olympic Development Council; and Port Angeles City Council member Charlie McCaughan.

“I am humbled to have been selected for this appointment,” Purvis said.

Clallam PUD commissioners are paid $2,567 per month plus a per diem of $128 per day for meetings attended on behalf of the district, for a maximum annual compensation of $48,724, PUD representatives said. Commissioners are also eligible for insurance for themselves, family members and dependents.

Throughout the extensive interview process, Purvis reiterated his firm beliefs in the value of public power.

PUD Commissioner Jim Waddell commented on the interview process, noting the difficulty he and Hays had with making a decision once the candidate pool was narrowed to three.

“We had three very good candidates here, making for a difficult decision,” Waddell said. “It really boiled down to what do we need right now.”

Hays noted that each candidate provided a different set of skills, experiences and personalities to the board, but he said what was important was the ability to be collaborative.

Hays ranked the candidates, from his first to third choice, as Purvis, Nathan Adkisson and Marc Sullivan.

He noted Adkisson’s ability to quickly study up for the role and his connections both in and outside of the community.

Adkisson, 44, also a longtime Clallam County resident, earned a degree in communications from Western Washington University in 2002 and has spent 20 years in the financial industry, more than half of which have been in Clallam County, working as a loan officer for various financial institutions.

Sullivan, 71, has lived in Clallam County for almost a decade and previously worked for Seattle City Light and had described himself as having been raised in “the church of public power” when describing his experience with public utility systems.