City of Port Orchard looks to fill developmental director, police chief posts

The City of Port Orchard is looking to fill positions for two department heads — development director and police chief.

According to Mayor Tim Matthes, six finalists have been selected for the development director — including Associate Planner Tom Bonsell, who is filling in as interim development director. Matthes said 13 candidates applied for the position that was posted on several internet sites.

Bonsell, 61, took over as interim director on Jan. 7, after former Developmental Director James Weaver resigned in December. Weaver, 43, accepted a position as a building official for Bainbridge Island.

“Tom has been doing a great job for us since filling in,” Matthes said. “I think he’s found his way into the position and is enjoying it.”

Three finalists were interviewed Thursday, March 14, and three others on Friday by a panel made up of Matthes, Human Resource Director Deborah Howard and Treasurer Allan Martin.

“What we want to have face-to-face interviews, even if we have to interview those candidates from out of town on the computer,” Matthes said.

Matthes said the City hopes to fill the position by April 1.

Poulsbo City Council recently approved Port Orchard Police Chief Alan Townsend to head its police department.

Last week, Townsend gave the mayor his resignation. Townsend’s contract requires a 60-day notice to give the City two months to fill the position.

Matthes is researching recruitment firms that could help in the selection of a new police chief, but is also seeking assistance from Association of Washington Cities and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC).

The WASPC website includes an employment site for police officers.

But Matthes may not have too look very far for his next police chief. The mayor said he’s discussed the matter with Commander Geoffrey Marti.

Marti came to the police department in March 2008 after working more than 27 years with the police department in Lincoln, Neb., as a sergeant, Internal Affairs and SWAT. He has a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Doane College of Nebraska.

Marti said he expressed his interest in the police chief position, both verbally and written.

Which way the City decides to take in filling the position, Marti said he supports.

“I willing to step up to the position if the City decides in that direction or if they decide to search for a chief, I willing to help with the transition,” Marti said. “I have no plans of leaving the department,”

Of course, if the mayor and Council agrees to hire from within the department, it would save the City thousands of dollars.

Matthes said if the City has to use a recruiting firm to fill Townsend’s post, it could cost between $16,000 and $20,000.

“We can hire from within, it doesn’t cost the City anything,” he said.

The mayor said he would like to make some changes to the new police chief’s contract such as a three-year contract and negotiating benefits.

“We have a great department with great people,” Matthes said. “We don’t want to drag this out.”

Matthes said the City is negotiating an agreement for uniform officers with the local police guild.


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