Bainbridge will change leadership in Public Works Department

City officials announced a changeover in the leadership team in Bainbridge Island’s Public Works Department Wednesday.

City Manager Morgan Smith said Public Works Director Barry Loveless will retire from his position as director of the department on Sept. 1.

Smith has appointed Chris Wierzbicki to fill the role of public works director, and he will take over as leader of the department July 31.

Officials also said Loveless will stay on at city hall, but as a part-time employee. He will help guide the completion of the city’s $20 million public safety building project during the next 18 to 24 months.

Loveless was named the city’s public works director in 2013, and he previously worked as the public works director in Poulsbo.

“I am grateful for Barry’s outstanding leadership during these last six years,” Smith said.

“His professional experience and pragmatic leadership were instrumental in the city’s progress towards more coordinated and efficient stewardship of our extensive infrastructure portfolio,” Smith added. “I am extremely pleased that he has agreed to stay on to direct the police/court project, which is a significant legacy project for our community. Barry is uniquely qualified to help deliver this complex project successfully, and we are both excited to be moving forward after many years of planning and consideration.”

The city’s new public safety building will replace the cramped and outdated police station building on Winslow Way. The new facility will be housed in the renovated CHI Franciscan Health medical building on Madison Avenue.

City officials praised Loveless for his work in public works; a stint that included projects such as renovations to the city dock/Waterfront Park, new utilities and sidewalks along Wing Point Way, and improved shoulders for bikers and walkers along Miller and Fletcher Bay roads, and the first segment of the Sound to Olympics Trail.

“I am proud of the team we have put together and what we have accomplished during my time as Director,” Loveless said.

Wierzbicki previously worked for the city of Bainbridge Island for six years as the deputy planning director and city engineer. He is currently the executive director of Futurewise, an organization that has been devoted to growth and development issues throughout Washington State.

Wierzbicki, a Bainbridge resident, also previously served as the deputy director of King County Road Services.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity during the past 12 years to live and raise a family on Bainbridge, and am looking forward to helping steward our natural and built environment in ways that will benefit the next generation of islanders — particularly, ensuring the protection of our water resources and providing safe alternatives for multi-modal transportation,” Wierzbicki said.