City manager pool narrowed

Posted 6/19/19

After a full day of city manager candidate interviews June 17, the Port Townsend City Council voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of lead recruiter Phil McKenney to advance all four candidates to the finalist interviews June 18.

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City manager pool narrowed


After a full day of city manager candidate interviews June 17, the Port Townsend City Council voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of lead recruiter Phil McKenney to advance all four candidates to the finalist interviews June 18.

The finalists participated in two interview panels June 18 – the CEO and leadership peer group panel, and the city selection panel – in addition to receiving a city tour, followed by a community meet-and-greet on the evening of June 18, at the Port Townsend Community Center.

A special meeting has already been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 19, for the council to receive feedback from the finalist interview panels and the community meet-and-greet, so that they might either vote on a recommendation for the city manager position, or else reconsider the original applicant pool and invite other candidates for interviews, or advertise the position again.

The final four are Victoria Brazitis, Keith Campbell, John Mauro and Richard Sepler.


Victoria Brazitis served as Bothell’s assistant city manager from Dec. 28, 2017, through May 20 of this year.

Brazitis has more than 11 years of experience in municipal management and public affairs, and as assistant city manager of Bothell, she led economic development efforts, and managed organizational and cross-departmental projects.

Brazitis has six years of experience in public affairs and more than five years of direct experience in local government management, having worked at the assistant city manager level in both Lone Tree, Colorado, and Lakewood, Washington, as well as serving as Gov. Jay Inslee’s press secretary during his time as a U.S. representative.


Keith Campbell has more than a dozen years of local government experience and has served as the city manager for Stayton, Oregon, since 2014.

Prior to joining Stayton staff, Campbell spent three years as the city clerk for Shawnee, Kansas, and five years as the deputy county clerk for Douglas County, Kansas, where he oversaw elections.

Campbell spent 10 years in the private sector, as a project manager for Sprint and a resource manager for several e-commerce web development companies.

Campbell received his Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and his Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Kansas, and is a member of the International City/County Management Association, as well as the Oregon City/County Management Association.

Campbell was among four finalists for retiring Clallam County administrator Jim Jones’ position last year, and became the second person to drop out of the running that fall.


John Mauro, who grew up in Auburn, Maine, was a finalist for the town manager position in Windham, Maine, earlier this month.

Mauro is currently the chief sustainability officer for the Auckland Council in New Zealand, and recently helped create a 30-year strategic plan and development strategy for the city of roughly 1.6 million people.

Mauro graduated from Edward Little High School in Auburn and Middlebury College in Vermont, and was a policy analyst in the Seattle mayor’s office prior to taking his current job in New Zealand.


Richard Sepler has been the planning and community development director for the City of Bellingham since 2014, and was the Community Services Director for Port Townsend for the previous eight years.

Prior to serving in Port Townsend, Sepler was the president of Madrona Planning and Development Services, a firm with offices in Seattle and Port Townsend, in which capacity he acted as the project lead and site planner for several large residential and commercial subdivisions and planned unit developments.

Concurrent with his position as planning director for Bellingham, Sepler is also an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, where he has taught courses on site planning, subdivision design and small town planning.

Mr. Sepler is president of the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association, has served as the hearings examiner for the cities of Shelton, Ferndale, Hoquiam, Mount Vernon and McCleary, and was the alternate examiner for Mason County.


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I would ask each candidate a several key questions, specifically relevant to Port Townsend.

1) Should municipal codes or any law or code be ignored in any aspect of planning, including letting existing systems or policies starve to death?

2) Have you ever stood up to any entity you worked under for ethical reasons? Explain.

3) You would be taking over from a past 20 year City Manager who abandoned parking enforcement in the entire downtown Historic District years ago. Well documented. Would you have anticipated any problems with the limited resource? Do you see any now?

4) Do you feel there are better checks and balances with no term limits (up to 18 years so far) on your employers, the City Council, or term limits to assure special interests don't become imbedded?

5) Have you ever worked under an appointed Mayor? Do you believe there are better checks and balances under an appointed Mayor or an elected Mayor?

6) Will you be working for all of the people of Port Townsend, or a no term limit City Council? If the two interests diverge in your opinion, is it likely you would simply do as told by the City Council? If not what would you do?

I think to answer honestly and directly would kill anyone's chances to be chosen by the no term limit City Council. The norm is the sound of crickets and the faint odor of corrupted thinking. Here is to a fresh wind blowing and the sound of answers.

Wednesday, June 19