Coupeville port director reapplies for his own job

Because of recent changes in state law, Port of Coupeville Executive Director Jim Patton is in the odd position of reapplying for his own job.

The Port of Coupeville will start accepting applications for the executive director position in the coming weeks.

Patton said a change in state law is prompting a change in the way the port handles its personal services contracts. For contracts under $50,000 a year the commissioners for the Port of Coupeville, currently Benye Weber, Marshall Bronson and Ann McDonald, will contact at least two qualified people for the work. They have to discuss the merits of each candidate in executive session and make a decision during an open forum, according to a resolution the commissioners for the Port of Coupeville approved last April.

Patton, who will finish his sixth year as executive director in October, is planning to apply for his position. He feels he has more work to do to help improve the Greenbank Farm.

“I want that new building at the Greenbank Farm,” Patton said, referring to a top goal. Port and farm officials were recently unsuccessful in their attempts to lobby the state Legislature for money to pay for a new building at the farm. They hope to try again in the upcoming legislative session.

As executive director, Patton brings home $50 per hour for his part-time position. He receives no benefits in his position. Last year, he said he earned approximately $36,000.

Patton said he learned about the change earlier in the year when he and Bronson attended a Washington Public Ports Association class that outlined changes to personal services contracts made by public ports. Once they learned of the changes, port officials crafted the policy that would be consistent with state regulations.

Patton’s contract with the port expires Aug. 12. For more information, contact the Port of Coupeville at 678-5020.

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