Sitka’s public works director has been reassigned to a position as municipal engineer.

Michael Harmon has been serving as public works director for 14 years. Municipal administrator John Leach told Sitka Assembly members on Tuesday (4-25-23) that relieving Harmon was intended to shore up staffing in capital projects, following the retirement of the current project manager this Friday.

Leach praised Harmon’s contributions to the department during his long tenure.

“Michael’s and extremely valued and respected engineer, and a loyal and hard-working member of our team,” said Leach. “His skills will be critical to ensuring our capital projects portfolio, valued over $150 million, stays on track and our projects are seen through to completion. With current and upcoming vacancies, our capital program was at risk of becoming more of an ancillary thought, rather than a primary mission within the department. There’s simply too much at risk for our capital projects to not be the focus of a highly-qualified engineer and project manager, which is why Mr. Harmon and I mutually agreed on this path being the most beneficial to the city.”

The change will become effective on May 1. Harmon will be the only engineer working on capital projects for the time being. 

Leach named Ron Vincent as interim public works director, during the search for a permanent replacement for Harmon.