Public Works Ferry Manager Appointed

The following announcement is from Mike McKenzie (chair of LIFAC) about the hire of a new Public Works ferry manager, Rob Nye.   Starting date is not included.  Mike’s announcement does not mention any previous experience with or knowledge about ferry or other public transportation systems, or a track record of successful interactions with citizen groups who depend on those systems. This does not, of course, mean Nye lacks that experience — Mr. Louws may just not have mentioned it to Mike.  If those are holes in Nye’s experience, hopefully he’ll be quick to seek out good, ongoing mentoring from those with ferry and other public transportation experience, in both Whatcom and Skagit counties.  

It would be great if LIFAC were to receive and share the job description for this new position, although perhaps PW will do that.

As many of us remember, a previous full time PW ferry manager w/out ferry experience led to very expensive diversions, e.g. the development of the (failed ~2006) Big New Ferry design.  But let’s hope for the best!  I’m sorry James didn’t want the job, but he clearly is keen to get back to working with bridges that aren’t anchored in salt water.

 

COUNTY HIRES FERRY MANAGER

County Executive Jack Louws informed LIFAC chair Mike McKenzie that Rob Nye from inside Public Works has accepted the new position as Ferry Manager. James Lee, who has filled that role this year temporarily, said that he has worked “closely” with Rob during the last couple of years, and that he will “hit the ground quickly in transition.”
Rob has served nearly two years as Asst Superintendent of Maintenance & Operations in Public Works,managing the operations shop at Smith Rd and Northwest Ave. He oversees the bridge crew (James Lee’s dept.) and has been in charge of inspections and maintenance of the docks during ferry outages, and installment of the floats for dry dock, and other ferry maintenance projects.
Previously, Rob worked in the private sector. James said Rob “…will be a great fit for the ferry manager’s role.” PW will have a news release sometime during his transition into the role.
He is scheduled to appear at the LIFAC meeting Tuesday, July 1, at the island Fire Hall, if no conflict arises. James Lee also said he would try to make that meeting to pass the baton, so to speak.

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