The Hoquiam Police Department lost a cop’s cop sort of guy with the retirement of Deputy Chief Don Wertanen, but Chief Jeff Myers made a great choice when he picked veteran detective Sgt. Joe Strong to serve as the new deputy chief. Strong is the current recipient of the Daily World’s Police Officer of the Year award. He’s been a dogged investigator with more than 20 years in the department. His new spot cleared the way for Officer David Blundred to be promoted to a patrol sergeant spot as Myers continues to develop a talented leadership team.
We wish Wertanen the best and thank him for his many years of service. He’s just one of three outstanding cops to retire in the past few weeks. The others, from Aberdeen, are deputy chief Dave Timmons and Capt. Dave Johnson, mainstays of that force for decades, more than four for Timmons and more than three for Johnson.
The City of Aberdeen needs a city administrator. Mayor Erik Larson is having a solid first term, but the needs of the city are so great and the issues so complex, the city needs a full-time, government and policy pro to steer things day to day so we can start making some progress. There’s money in the budget, but Larson hasn’t found a match. He’s right that it’s a bad idea to rush into a hire if the right person doesn’t come along, but finding that person needs to be among the highest priorities at City Hall. And he’s right that lack of political support on the council for that position could scare away candidates. That’s why the council needs to get behind that idea, and the mayor, and push.