City losing senior lawyer, planner

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Floyd and Koontz at city hall recently.

Two of of the city’s most prominent employees are departing for new jobs.

Nicole Floyd, a senior planner who has been with the city about a decade, is leaving to become the planner for the city of DuPont. Mark Koontz, the city legal department’s top litigator, recently accepted a position at Levandowski and Morgan, a Tacoma-based personal injury firm.

Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent praised both for their work in the city and wished them well, though she admitted she preferred they’d stay.

“They’re both success stories,” she said. “Both departures are bittersweet.”

Floyd has been the primary planner on the city’s most prominent projects — the new movie theater, downtown apartments, the Washington Youth Academy, to name a few. She also spearheaded the city’s version of the state’s Shoreline Master Plan, which increased but also “cleaned up” regulations for shoreline development here.

The North Thurston High School (Lacey) graduate of 1998 is moving closer to family in DuPont, where she’ll be the single planner for the small Pierce County city.

Floyd said she’s sad to leave town because of the relationships she’s developed here, but also because she believes the city is close to a “tipping point” where a surge of development occurs. During the Great Recession, she said permitting for big developments was pretty quiet. This year has been different, with lots of developers contacting the city for potential projects.

“I believe Bremerton is about to take off,” she said.

Koontz, meanwhile, has been the city’s chief courthouse litigator for the better part of a decade. The Seattle University law school graduate of 1996 worked for a prominent personal injury firm in Seattle before joining the city in 2006.

Koontz recalled his first case litigating on behalf of the city was when a woman arrested for DUI somehow wiggled her way out of a state trooper’s cruiser and ran off. The city police brought in a dog, which bit the woman. She sued, alleging civil rights violations. Koontz said the city successfully repelled the suit.

Koontz, whose wife, Claire Bradley, is a judge for Kitsap County District Court, said he was simply looking for a job where he could be in court more often.

“Frankly, I would’ve left a long time ago were it not for the people here,” he said. “I’ll miss working with them.”

No replacement has been announced for Floyd’s position; the city will cover Koontz’s position with a familiar face — attorney Dave Horton, who has worked for the city before. Retaining Horton is up for discussion by the City Council Wednesday.

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