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City’s Public Works director resigns

Port Orchard Public Works Director Maher Abed announced his resignation on Friday, and by Monday he was already absent from City Council meetings.

Abed, who was appointed to the position by the previous mayor, Kim Abel, is leaving the city to pursue a career at WestSound Engineering, where he will hold the title of engineering director.

“I’m leaving on good terms,” Abed said Wednesday. “I’m wishing the city the best in its future. It’s been a privilege to serve as Public Works director for the city.”

While working with Port Orchard, Abed has overseen work on the Tremont Corridor widening, the utility undergrounding and establishing the federally mandated stormwater utility.

These projects are still in the process.

At WestSound Engineering, Abed will work on the other side of city projects, as the firm has a number of pending jobs with the Port Orchard, including the repair work on the sinkhole that occurred after the Dec. 3 flooding.

The City Council approved the separation agreement with Abed on Monday.

At that point, Mayor Lary Coppola declined to comment on the resignation.

As Abed leaves, the utility undergrounding project is floundering. The first bids came in significantly higher than budgeted, and after resubmitting bid requests for three smaller portions of the project the city received no bids from any agency.

Councilman Rob Putaansuu is now handling that project with Caseco.

Abed is the second department head from City Hall to leave since the new city council and mayor took office in January.

Planning Director Joanne Long-Woods left in January and has been replaced by James Weaver, who took the retitled position of city development director.

Long-Woods did not give a reason for her leaving at the time.

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