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New Bainbridge public works director starting job soon

Barry Loveless, currently the public works director in Poulsbo, will take over as Bainbridge Island’s next public works director on Dec. 2. - North Kitsap Herald photo
Barry Loveless, currently the public works director in Poulsbo, will take over as Bainbridge Island’s next public works director on Dec. 2.
— image credit: North Kitsap Herald photo

Bainbridge Island’s new public works director will take home the same salary as the person he replaced.

Barry Loveless, currently the public works director in Poulsbo, will take over as Bainbridge Island’s next public works director on Dec. 2.

Bainbridge City Manager Doug Schulze announced the resignation of the city’s prior public works director, Lance Newkirk, in April. He was put on paid leave for two months while the city brought in a temporary public works director until a permanent replacement could be found.

Loveless was chosen from a field of 30 applicants from 17 states.

He has been the public works director of Poulsbo since 2008.

As the new public works director, Loveless will oversee a department that includes three divisions — administration, engineering, and operations and maintenance — with 36 full-time employees and a budget of more than $10 million.

According to the employment offer extended, and accepted, by Loveless, the new hire will earn a higher salary than he did in Poulsbo.

Loveless received an annual salary of $110,949 in Poulsbo. On Bainbridge, he will be paid $10,924 a month, or $131,088 annually. The annual salary is the same amount that Newkirk was paid before his  negotiated resignation in April.

Loveless’ employment agreement also sets out a six-month probationary period.

The agreement includes a severance package, as well, if Loveless is let go without cause within one year of his hire date. Loveless will be paid a full year’s salary if he is terminated without cause in his first year.

If he is fired without cause after the first year, he will receive a severance package that includes six months’ salary.

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson told the Review after Loveless was picked as one of three finalists that she tried to encourage Loveless to stay in Poulsbo.

His work in Poulsbo was appreciated, and Erickson said Loveless was instrumental during the new city hall project.

“He is a great guy. This is his decision and I wish him well,” she said.

“Bainbridge Island is a much bigger town than Poulsbo and has great wage rates,” Erickson added.

Bainbridge will be a good fit, she said, though she added that Poulsbo is “a little more peaceful” than Bainbridge.

“The best thing I can always do as a manager and a mayor is to make sure my people are well-treated, no matter where they go,” Erickson said.

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