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Kitsap County loses Faver

Kitsap County Parks and Recreation Director Homer F. "Chip" Faver suddenly resigned this week, citing personal reasons and a desire to return to his home state as reasons for the action.

“Chip’s background is in recreation,” said South Kitsap Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. “With all the cuts we have made in that area there has been less for him to do in the area of his greatest strength.”

Faver took over the parks in Feb. 2007. At the time it was combined with the facilities department, which was reallocated under administrative services.

During his tenure he was credited with collecting past due grant monies and completing an inventory of park property. He also engineered several land swaps and helped to jump-start the development of the South Kitsap Regional Park.

Faver said on Thursday that he was proud of the accomplishments of the parks systems under his watch, and that he “appreciated the chance that the commissioners gave me to work for the county.”

He is currently selling his house, and has applied for a recreation job in McAllen, TX.

“This is a great opportunity I have to go back to Texas and work in a large city,” he said. “I didn’t have any government experience when I came here, and the commissioners allowed me to develop. I grew socially and I grew professionally.”

The county did not respond to a request about the details of Faver’s severance. Faver would not discuss these terms, saying only that “the county was more than fair.”

Faver was known around the county for his fire-and-brimstone speeches, where he nearly preached to attendees that supporting the parks was their responsibility and residents were themselves responsible for the success or failure of the parks system.

Faver’s last day on the job was Monday. On Wednesday, the county commissioners called Faver’s assistant, Arvilla Oldhe, into a meeting and asked her to take on the job on an interim basis. She said her immediate priorities are to “make a list about what needs to be done.”

Garrido said Friday that Oldhe had agreed to serve as interim director throughout the summer, and oversee the Kitsap County Fair.

Oldhe’s temporary appointment follows a cycle, as she was the one who first alterted Faver to the Kitsap opening. At his resignation, Faver recommended Oldhe as his replacement.

Oldhe said the staff did not have any indication that Faver was leaving and that she is not interested in the top job, saying “I am retired.”

Faver is the second consecutive Parks and Recreation Director to leave on short notice. Mark Mauren resigned suddenly in April, 2006. It took the county until the following February to hire Faver, after a national personnel search.

The replacement will begin in the next few weeks, but no details have been addressed. However, Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown said that he expected the county would manage the replacement search itself rather than hire an outside firm.

Faver’s staff and colleagues were surprised by the action, saying that he accomplished a lot in a relatively short time.

“I think Chip was very knowledgeable and very professional,” said Terry Lande, director of the Bainbridge Island Metro Parks and Recreation District.“He represented the county very well.”

VIDEO NOTE: In February, Faver was one of several department heads to attend a conference about sustainability in Port Orchard. In this clip, he discusses some of the obstacles that government=mandated sustainability programs might face.

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