The Port Commissioners got an earful from a handful of members of the public over how, without explanation, Bob Hyde was forced out as the Port’s Executive Director a few days ago.
Public comments came minutes after Port Commissioners met in a special executive session, then voted, without any discussion, to hire John Hachey, a former Port employee, as interim Executive Director to replace Hyde.
After the meeting was opened for comments, former newspaper publisher Wallie Funk said, “There is a secrecy about this… about whatever the hell you’re doing with him.” He added, “There has to be a transparency. We deserve to know from you people why, absolutely, you made the decision you did.”
Brenda Lavender said Hyde’s departure “raised a lot of questions.” She questioned the Port Commissioners alleged use of “serial meetings” in which three Port Commissioners met, two at a time with Port employees at the home of Commissioner Pat Mooney.
Robin Pestarino said Hyde’s dismissal was “very cavalierly handled.” She said, “You’re honorable men, you’re good men, please don’t do this to our community.”
The Port Commissioners Monday hired an interim Executive Director to run the Port while they organize a search for a replacement for Bob Hyde, who was forced out as Executive Director less than two weeks ago.
Dave Coleburn praised Hyde and said, “I’m really disappointed because I think the community of Anacortes the one thing that we have to be proud of is our Port." He said, “The best part of our community is our Port and the best part of the Port was Bob Hyde.”
Vince Sellen called on every to respect Hyde’s privacy, saying, “There is a person in there who probably needs some privacy, and that’s Bob Hyde.” He added, “let’s move on and not let this issue drag the port down.”
Following the meeting, Hachey told a reporter that he plans no changes in how the Port operates. He said he expects his tenure to be brief. When asked if he’s prepared to be in Anacortes and away from his home in Florida for up to six months, he laughed and said, “I have a great incentive to wrap this up quickly.”