Doug Merriman

Doug Merriman

Merriman is gone as city administrator

Doug Merriman is no longer city administrator for Oak Harbor.

The circumstances of his departure are unclear. Neither Mayor Bob Severns nor Merri-man could be reached for comment.

The change in leadership happened in the wake of the revelation that the estimated cost of the new sewage treatment plant jumped by $20 million to $142 million.

Severns said he was “upset and concerned” by the sudden cost increase and by the fact that city staff hadn’t communicated the news to him or the city council in a timely manner.

Severns said he would be conducting an “intense review” of city departments responsible for monitoring the costs of the project.

That included the city administrator.

Councilman Rick Almberg said he couldn’t comment on a personnel matter except to say that Merriman was always very helpful in explaining public financing to him.

“I’ve always known him to be a first class gentleman,” he said.

An interim city administrator has not yet been named, although city council members were asked by the mayor’s office to direct questions to Finance Director Patricia Soule.

Merriman was the city’s longtime finance director until former Mayor Scott Dudley named him as city administrator.

Merriman has an impressive resume. He was a classical pianist, an elite paratrooper, a West Point cadet and a bank executive.

Merriman earned a doctorate degree in applied management and decision science from Walden University.

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