Port of Walla Walla names new executive director

- As of Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Port of Walla Walla plans to offer its top administrative position to College Place City Administrator Patrick Reay.

The three Port commissioners unanimously voted for Reay as their top choice for the job in a roughly hourlong special meeting Tuesday.

As part of the vote, the commissioners authorized Port attorney Tom Baffney and Commission President Mike Fredrickson to enter into negotiations with Reay for the position. If all parties come to terms, Reay would be appointed to the post at the Port's April 28 meeting.

He would succeed Jim Kuntz, who left the post early this year.

Reay was one of four finalists for the position interviewed last week. The process included a public reception and open house with an opportunity for attendees to provide written feedback and rank the candidates. The outcome of those rankings was not provided during Tuesday's meeting. The process also included hourlong interviews with each of the four candidates last Thursday. In addition to the commissioners and a panel of Port staff members, a panel of three community members - Doug Bayne, Allan Gillespie and Tim McCarty - participated in the interviews.

Reay has been city administrator for College Place - a city of about 9,100 residents - for 12 years. He's an active member of the Walla Walla Fair board.