The city has a new councilmember.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the Port Orchard City Council voted unanimously to appoint Jeff Cartwright to fill the Position 1 seat vacated by Jim Colebank, who resigned in July because he was moving outside the city. He will fill the unexpired term, which ends Dec. 31, 2015.
Councilman John Clauson was absent from the meeting.
Cartwright, along with Kim Punt and Trish Tierney, was one of the three finalists the council interviewed Friday.
The new councilmember said he had the opportunity, security and time in his life to dedicate for service.
“It was a grueling process and I think the council had a tough decision,” Cartwright said. “I’m excited to serve the community and looking forward to doing work for the city. I don’t want to squander this opportunity.”
Cartwright said he’s been a city resident for more than three years.
“I’ve always considered myself a Port Orchard resident since 1996,” he said.
Cartwright, a California native, has worked with Kitsap Transit since 1995 and has been the human resource director for the past seven years.
With Cartwright’s appointment, the council now has three members with ties to Kitsap Transit. Cartwright works as the human resource director, while Clauson is the executive director and Councilman Rob Putaansuu is a member of the board of commissioners.
Councilman Fred Chang said he was sensitive about having another member of the council with ties to Kitsap Transit and the employee-boss relationship.
“I may have called into question the independence of the appointee, none the less, I have been assured the appointee will make decisions independently and ethically, and will represent the people of Port Orchard.”
Chang said he has concerns with the selection process.
“We had to compare apples to oranges to pears,” Chang said. “We were agonizing.”
Chang said the council agreed they would be able to work with any of the three finalists.
“Each of the three finalists have impressive qualifications,” he said.
Chang said he applauds Punt and Tierney’s community service.
“You are great examples of the way people can improve the community,” he added. “You don’t have to be on the council.”
Councilwoman Cindy Lucarelli thanked the candidates for their participation in the selection process.
“It was a very tough process,” she said. “I appreciate the interest and the time each of you put in.”
Cartwright will be sworn in before the next council meeting.