Southland fired, Nicholls hired by TBPA


The TBPA Board of Commissioners officially tapped Mick Nicholls to be the new General Manager of the Thomas Bay Power Authority last week. Nicholls accepted the offer after tendering his resignation as the foreman at the Tyee Hydroelectric plant.

The Thomas Bay Power Authority Commission met in a special meeting last Friday to discuss another counter offer by Mick Nicholls to the commission for the position of TBPA General Manager.

Nicholls, who is still acting as foreman until today, said he is looking forward to taking the reins at the TBPA office.

“My plan is to make sure that Tyee continues to run in a very efficient manner,” Nicholls said. “I believe that the GM’s job should be centered toward the plant and not toward the public.”

Before he was officially hired, a number of the commissioners spoke about the offer – but none so passionately as TBPA Commissioner Warren Edgley when he brought up the fact that a counteroffer was given to Nicholls in the first place.

“The general manager hiring process is the latest example of what is wrong with this organization,” Edgley stated. “The hiring process has been turned into an outrageous mess and the protocol for hiring has not been followed.”

Edgley explained that when the top three candidates were chosen, the offer was made to the top choice and if it was rejected, that offer should have been passed on to the next candidate instead of changing the resolution and going back and forth with one person.

“The offer was rejected,” Edgley stated. “The process you used was not fair to the other applicants.”

Nicholls had previously rejected two offers from the commission.

Among the commissioners an amended resolution was passed stating that Nicholls will receive $90,000 for a six-month probationary period. After that time, the salary will increase to $95,000 with a two-year contract and three-month severance if terminated.

The resolution was passed with a 5-2 vote, with commissioners Dave Galla and Edgley in opposition. Galla then moved to relieve interim general manager Paul Southland of his duties at that time.

That motion passed 5-2 among the commissioners as well, with John Jensen and Robert Larson voting no.

Southland, who is returning to work in the commercial fishing industry, was provided with a written decision relieving him and will receive a three-month severance package in accordance with his employment contract.

The Tuesday, May 30 meeting of the commissioners was put off after a quorum failed to be reached. No date for the next meeting was announced by press time.


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