Port Commission plans to improve workplace communication after a vote of no confidence


The Port of Olympia Commission sent a letter to its staff last week, responding to calls by port employees for Executive Director Sam Gibboney’s resignation.

Signed by Commission Chair Bob Iyall and shared with The JOLT on Wednesday, the letter acknowledged the frustrations of the 22 employees who signed the letter asking for Gibboney to step down.

“We are also grateful to the staff members, who were not asked or chose not to sign the letter,” commented Iyall.

The Olympian reported on July 12 that the no-confidence letter described various workplace issues such as:

  • micromanagement
  • dishonest communication to staff
  • inadequate communication about the commission’s missions and vision
  • lacking efforts to create an environment of equity
  • environment of fear and anxiety in the workplace
  • employee turnover rate of 68% in the last three years

Community members also called for Gibboney’s resignation during the public comment section of a commission meeting on July 25.

Iyall said the Port aims to improve communication to resolve these issues.

“The Commission is working directly with Executive Director Gibboney to identify resources available and to create a plan to improve communication and ensure that all are being heard,” the Port’s letter read.

Iyall emphasized the need to collaborate and communicate so that all issues are heard.

“For the Port to successfully implement changes that will positively affect each and every staff person, it is essential to listen and hear all comments, concerns, and suggestions from every individual who cares to share,” Iyall’s letter read.

“Please work with us to share your thoughts and concerns and help us gain the perspective needed to complete our task and make the Port of Olympia the employer of choice in Thurston County,” the letter said.


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