Bob Hyde has ended his more than eight years as Executive Director, apparently forced out without public explanation by Port Commissioners at a meeting Thursday night. At one point Hyde was told to either resign or be fired. He resigned.
According to one source, Hyde’s employment was broached in what was described as a very long, closed-door executive session that was billed as, “for the purpose of discussing labor relations.”
There was extensive discussion, then when the Port Commission went into public session, President Bob Eberle moved to accept Hyde’s resignation, the exact wording of which we have not been able to obtain.
Port Commissioners universally praised Hyde, but gave no reason for their action, which reportedly took Hyde by complete surprise.
Neither the Port nor Hyde have responded to our phone calls for comment. (I heard from Leah Hines, with the Port, via email on Sunday morning, saying she had emailed a response Friday evening. I did not recieve it.)
Commission Secretary Ray Nivers said, “This was about the worst thing that could happen.” He said his was the lone vote not to accept Hyde’s resignation.
Nivers said “Bob Hyde has been the best Executive Director that the Port has ever had, and may well be the best the Port would ever have.”
Commission President Bob Eberle said, “Bob Hyde had provided leadership and direction to the Port of Anacortes at a critical time in Port History and had been instrumental in the successes enjoyed by the Port of Anacortes over the past eight years.”
Praise also comes from Commission Vice-President Keith Rubin, who said, “Bob really delivered during a very difficult time at the Port. He and his staff turned the organization around. He has done a tremendous service to the community.”
At the time Hyde was hired, the Port had gone through a period of legal activity, including, at one point, of suing the city. “We were the laughingstock of the court world,” said Rubin. He said Bob Hyde and the leadership team turned things around.
Hyde thanked the Port Commission for their support and for the honor and privilege of serving as executive director, according to a news release from an attorney connected to the Port.
Commissioner Pat Mooney declined to comment.
The Port Commissioners may already have an interim replacement in mind, based on the notice for a special meeting behind closed doors set for 10am on Monday. The meeting notice says:
“The purpose of the Special Meeting is to attend and participate in a staff meeting, to hold an executive session pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(g) to evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for public employment or to review the performance of a public employee, and to appoint an Interim Executive Director and set the terms and conditions of that appointment. The Special Meeting is anticipated to last for approximately one and one half hours and action may or may not be taken.”
Prior to joining the Port, Bob was Public Works Director and City Engineer for the city. He retired from the Navy as a Commander after 20 years.
His future plans are uncertain at this time.
Updated at 8 pm Friday to add comments attributed to Bob Hyde.
Updated at 2 pm Friday with new comments.