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Public works director hired from within

Challis Stringer - Michaela Marx Wheatley / The Record
Challis Stringer
— image credit: Michaela Marx Wheatley / The Record

LANGLEY — Mayor Paul Samuelson tapped a current public works employee as the city of Langley’s new director of public works this week.

Challis Stringer will replace Rick Hill, who resigned late last year.

Stringer is a familiar face around town, having worked for the city’s public works department for the past five years.

“Challis brings on-the-ground experience, good organizational and planning skills and strong commitment to our community,” Samuelson said.

“I worked with staff to consider other alternatives to filling the position and everyone felt that Challis would bring the right approach and set of skills to the job,” he said.

Stringer stepped into her new job April 1 and views her promotion as an opportunity to provide leadership on short-term and long-term planning.

Stringer holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Washington and recently completed a certificate in sports medicine and human performance from the university.

“When I graduated from the UW, the city had a part-time opening,” she said. “I enjoyed it so much I stayed. I really like Langley.”

Stringer will be in charge of a number of large-scale projects and has big plans.

“I see a need to improve the city’s approach to how we spend funds on improvement and maintenance projects,” Stringer said. “We can prevent emergencies by planning ahead to keep our streets, sidewalks, water and sewer systems maintained.”

Stringer added that some roads are in dire need for repairs.

“There are roadways that need to be repaired before they fall apart,” she said.

A first step is the upcoming Anthes and Camano avenues walkway project that went to bid earlier this week. Stringer will oversee the project.

Stringer also has a vision of beautifying the city’s gateways along Cascade Avenue and Saratoga Road.

“We can use Third Street as a model for enhancing the other entrances to Langley,” Stringer said.

She is excited to take the helm at the four-person department. She will make $51,000 annually. Hill made roughly $73,000.

The city will look for a replacement to fill Stringer’s position.

Michaela Marx Wheatley can be reached at 221-5300 or mmarx

wheatley@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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