Port Director John Stone had a surprise for the Docks and Harbor’s board last night — he’s resigning to go on a sailing trip for two years with his wife.
Board chairman Jim Preston said this was addressed in closed session so the board could discuss the strategy for replacing Stone. Preston said there was no issue with Stone.
“All of the board members, we will all miss him,” Preston said. “It’s with reluctance we accept the resignation. We certainly wish him well.”
“Well, it’s been a lifelong dream to go out and do some sailing,” Stone said afterward. “We just figured it was the right time to do it and we weren’t getting any younger. Basically we’re just gonna leave during the summer and then head south. The ultimate sail plan is to head down to the Caribbean and northeast United States to visit family.”
Stone has worked for CBJ for 11 years, but has lived in Juneau since 1984.
He said they will come back to Juneau, as his wife’s family lives here. Stone said he isn’t retiring and when he comes back he will do something, but he doesn’t know what.
Stone said his biggest accomplishment with Docks and Harbors has yet to come — the Cruise Ship Docks project.
As for words of wisdom for the next port director:
“The big thing is you need to be willing to do a lot of night meetings for sure,” he said. “You need to be sort of a community person. Get down and listen to all the harbor patrons and work with the board and the Assembly. It’s a really challenging job, but it’s a great job too.”
Stone’s resignation goes into effect June 17.
Preston appointed a selection committee, which will include himself board members Mike Williams, Kevin Jardell and Tom Donek, along with harbor master Phil Benner.
“We’ll be doing a nationwide search for his replacement,” Preston said. “Hopefully we’ll have somebody on board before he leaves. We’ll very likely have somebody on board before he actually leaves.”
This was the second resignation to go before the board Thursday, as board member Bob Wostmann had submitted his immediate resignation to Preston. Preston said Wostmann had in the past not been able to do all the tasks necessary and had put effort into attending as many meetings as possible this year, however he was unable to maintain that.
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