Port finds job is hard to fill

Ron Rhinehart is a hard man to replace; so much so that the Port of South Whidbey commissioners may split his job between two people.

Although Rhinehart has been the port’s finance director for only 6 months, he’s become the go-to guy for financial information, particularly on federal grant efforts to help fund the port’s planned expansion of the Langley Marina.

With four grown children and one grandchild, Rhinehart saw an ad for a foreign service job about two years ago. “I’d never worked for the government before,” he said Wednesday. He and his wife decided they’d try for some adventure in their lives so he applied, but with little expectation of getting hired.

“I was shocked when it came through,” he said.

His last day with the port will be May 10, and on May 11 the Rhineharts will head for Washington, D.C. with a truckload of belongings. He’ll undergo training and after that find out where he will be assigned.

Meanwhile, commissioners Curt Gordon and Dennis Gregoire discussed the upcoming vacancy Tuesday evening. The job, which paid Rhinehart $70,000 annually, has been advertised locally and regionally, but Rhinehart told them no qualified applicants had applied by the deadline Monday.

It was decided to continue advertising, but meanwhile consider separating the job into two positions, one dealing with accounting and one with grant writing. “What we really need is accounting,” Gordon said, adding that it might be easier to find two qualified people locally for part-time positions than one fully qualified person.


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