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Retired Naval Officer in command of Public Works starts Oct. 17

frank-mulcahyAfter 20 years in the U.S. Navy, Frank Mulcahy starts a new assignment October 17, 2011 as Public Works Director of San Juan County. He replaces Jon Shannon who stepped down in April after eight years in the position. Russ Harvey served as interim director while the county searched for Shannon's replacement.

Mulcahy, of Groton, Connecticut, holds a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Institute and a Masters in Construction Management from the University of Washington.

Some of the positions he held in the Navy were:

  • Public Works Director of the Navy's submarine base in New London, Connecticut.
  • Crisis Response Operations Engineering Team Leader – Joint Force Command in Naples Italy
  • Staff Action Officer for Economic Development – Multi-National Forces in Baghdad, Iraq
  • Construction and Contracts Director – Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, VA

County Administrator Pete Rose said he was impressed with the breadth of Mulcahy's experience. During the interview process, Rose said, "I knew Mr. Mulcahy had the requisite skills to work with us islanders when he gave the example of a successful experience he had negotiating a new road that required the agreement of both Serbians and Albanians."

Thirty-six candidates were reviewed by the County Administrator, staff, and consultant Lynn Stokesbary of the Prothman Company of Issaquah. Five finalists were invited to Friday Harbor to attend a three-day interview process, which began September 8, 2011. Participants included members of the community, a council representative, members of the public works management team, three department heads and the County Administrator.

The San Juan County Public Works director oversees the county's largest department with 65 full time employees and a budget of approximately $13 million. The department's responsibilities include maintaining the county's roads, running the stormwater and solid waste utilities; coordinating engineering; purchasing and maintaining the County's fleet of cars, trucks, heavy equipment and boats, and maintaining County buildings and properties.

As they approved the hiring of the new Public Works Director, the county Council formally thanked department veteran Russ Harvey for his service as Acting Public Works Director during an eventful and challenging past five months for the department.

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