Updated Oct. 27, 2023
Dan Worra is out as executive director of the Port of Anacortes.
The Port Commission voted 5-0 Oct. 26 to terminate his employment, without cause. According to the commission’s announcement of the decision, posted on the Port’s website, Worra’s employment contract stipulated that the Port may terminate his employment at any time, without cause and for any reason or no reason, by giving written notice of the termination.
The vote was made one week after the commission voted 4-0, with commissioner Jon Petrich abstaining, to place Worra on paid administrative leave.
“The course our executive director was taking to meet the goals of the organization was not the same course the commissioners agreed with,” commission president Bonnie Bowers said shortly after the vote. “We had different ideas and different working styles, and it was not a compatible relationship anymore.”
Operations Director John Dumas is serving as interim director. [Ed.: Update follows.] Dumas joined the port in 2017.
Worra oversaw an annual budget of $20 million, and a portfolio that includes an airport, shipping terminal, marina and numerous commercial properties.
“It happens in the port world, and not infrequently, that over time the relationship between a commission and an executive director and staff can change,” Bowers said. “The commission is always looking at how do we further our mission and how do we strategize to do that and sometimes we come to an impasse with our executive director on how that’s done. I have a lot of respect for Dan Worra and I wish him well.”
Petrich said the decision to vote to terminate Worra was “a hard decision” for him.
“I actually got a little choked up,” he said. “I’ve worked with Dan for six — coming on seven — years now and I respect him as a human. So, it was difficult and not taken lightly. As I said before, that motion to put him on leave I thought was hasty, but the two executive sessions to follow we had enough time to deliberate and come to that conclusion.”
The 2024 budget — of which Worra oversaw the writing – anticipates $20.6 million in operating revenues and $17.8 million in operating expenses. The commission is scheduled to vote Nov. 2 on the budget’s approval following a public hearing. [Ed.: End of update.]
The Salish Current left messages on phone numbers registered to Worra on Oct. 26.
— Reported by Richard Arlin Walker
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