Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Weaver Resigns As Port Orchard Planning Director

After almost 5 years as City Development Director for Port Orchard, James Weaver has submitted his resignation. He will take a job as the Building Official for the City of Bainbridge Island. He made the City Council aware of his decision at the December 11, Council meeting, and then submitted his resignation letter to Mayor Tim Matthes, who claimed to be "surprised" by Weaver's action. His last day will be January 2.

James Weaver's departure is a tremendous loss for the City of Port Orchard, and a huge gain for Bainbridge Island. He was universally recognized as the best Planning Director in the County by not only his peers, but by other elected officials as well.

I'm proud to have hired him and worked with him. He cleaned up a HUGE mess in the Planning Department that I had inherited upon becoming Mayor. Those included 546 unprocessed permits, some dating back nearly 3 years, that he and his staff cleared within 60 days, as well as a Comprehensive Plan 4 years out of compliance with the GMA, just for starters.

James and his staff, brought the City into compliance with state law in less than a year — an almost unheard of time frame for such an accomplishment — and did 97% of the work in-house, saving the citizens of Port Orchard hundreds of thousands of dollars in consultant fees.

Ironically City Councilman Fred Chang, who is angling to be appointed to Derek Kilmer's vacant State Senate seat, was chair of the City's Growth Management Committee at the time, and was responsible for the plan not being in compliance.

I have remained quiet about what has happened in Port Orchard since leaving the Mayor's office, but a savvy news reporter with an ear to the ground and no personal agenda would recognize this as just the first in a line of coming departures, and pursued this story from that angle. 

Just remember, you heard it here first...

There's a reason people are leaving, and it will eventually become public. In the meantime, I'll just sit back and smile...

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