Clallam PUD seeks replacement for Waddell

Applicants for the Clallam County Public Utility District commissioner seat left vacant by the death of District 3 commissioner Jim Waddell have until 5 p.m. March 7 to submit an application.

Waddell, 70, of Port Angeles died Feb. 5 of pancreatic cancer. He had represented the Clallam PUD’s District 3 since 2019 after defeating longtime commissioner Ted Simpson in the 2018 election. He also had served as board president in 2023 and 2024.

Applicants can visit and click on the blue “Application Instructions” link near the bottom of the page.

Candidates must be a registered voter living within Clallam PUD’s District 3, which runs from East Port Angeles to the West End. It encompasses voter precincts Belleview, Black Diamond, Mount Angeles, Mount Pleasant, Beaver, Bogachiel, Clallam Bay, Dry Creek, Elwha, Forks 301, Forks 302, Freshwater Bay, Joyce, Madison Creek, Neah Bay, Quileute and Sun.

A Clallam PUD commissioner earns a monthly salary of $3,238, plus a per diem of $161 for meetings attended on the district’s behalf, to a maximum annual compensation of $61,396. Commissioners also are eligible for group insurance for themselves, their immediate family and depen-dents.

According to a press release from Clallam PUD, candidates should have a strong interest in public service and be willing to commit the time necessary to perform the commissioner’s duties.

Candidates also should have an ability to envision solutions to the challenge of fulfilling the district’s mission statement of “Providing reliable, efficient, safe, and low cost utility services in a financially and environmentally responsible manner,” the release stated.

State law gives the two remaining commissioners 90 days from the date of the vacancy to appoint a replacement for the remainder of the unexpired term, which runs until the certification of the November 2024 general election.

The commissioners will select one or more nominees and then issue a notice of vacancy for 15 days that contains the name of the nominee or nominees.

Any registered voters in the district may submit additional nominations during those 15 days.

When the 15 days are up, the commissioners may appoint an applicant or schedule public interviews from a slate of candidates.

Issues facing the Clallam PUD commissioners include compliance with the state’s Energy Independence Act requirements for renewable energy and conservation, rising costs of power and operations, minimal load growth and future power supply challenges.

The commissioners also approve the three fund budgets (electric, water, sewer); set policy for electric, water and sewer regulations; set rates and charges for services; approve the district’s strategic plan; and appoint the general manager, treasurer, and auditing officer.

Clallam PUD has 160 employees and serves more than 31,000 accounts in Clallam County with energy from 98 percent clean, renewable, affordable and carbon-free sources.

Waddell was known for supporting removal of the four hydroelectric Snake River dams on the lower reaches of the Columbia’s largest tributary.

He was the lone vote at a March 2021 Clallam PUD meeting against a resolution in support of keeping the dams and was founder and board chair of DamSense (, serving with the late Ken Balcomb, who founded the Center for Whale Research.