New Fort Worden manager praises staff, volunteers
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Fort Worden State Park manager Allison Alderman, right, meets with park Ranger Todd Jensen on Thursday.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — Fort Worden State Park manager Allison Alderman spent the first six weeks on the job getting acquainted with the people who work at the park and issues facing it.

“I have attended over 80 scheduled meetings,” Alderman said in a report about her tenure at the park so far to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission on Thursday.

“I've met with staff and volunteers collectively and with every employee and several volunteers individually,” said Alderman, whose first day was Feb. 15.

“These dedicated employees and volunteers have a lot to say and care deeply about Fort Worden State Park.”

When Alderman's job as region operations manager in the State Parks Northwest Region Office was eliminated in December, the 21-year State Parks employee displaced the less-senior Kate Burke in keeping with parks personnel policy.

On Thursday morning, Alderman, 47, told the commissioners she was impressed by park personnel.

“I have an awesome staff and group of volunteers to rely upon,” she said.

“There is a lot to do, and we are short-staffed, but each and every one of them have stepped up to help out wherever they are needed so our guests enjoy the most hospitable services possible.”

Commission Chairman Joe Taller asked Alderman to address the next commissioners meeting May 24 in Yakima to report any issues that may arise in the park's management in the next few months.

“We can't guarantee that we will correct those problems, but we will provide an opportunity for dialogue,” he said.

After Alderman gave her presentation, she left for a two-week vacation that had been previously planned before she took the job at Fort Worden.

Alderman received public support from several members of the public at a Wednesday night public meeting, at which many of them asked the commissioners to keep Fort Worden under state control.

“Kate Burke ran the park for eight years and couldn't make it work,” said Terry McCulloch.

“We should give Allison a chance to see if she can run it better.”

Last modified: March 29. 2012 6:14PM
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