Kingston harbor master pulls anchor for Ari

KINGSTON — Ed Hall wants to make it clear he’s not retiring. With his resignation from the eight-month old Port of Kingston Harbor Master position, he is just moving on to another career — in Arizona.

“My wife and I talked about this for years,” he said about their plans to head to Tucson. “It was now or never.”

While he said he knew this move was coming, he took the Harbor Master position in November to help the agency through its transitional stage of leadership from port manager to harbor master. Hall also said he felt he was the best person for the job, given his 12-year tenure as a marine attendant at the port.

“I’ve enjoyed the last several months,” Hall said. “It’s been a challenge. It’s sure been educational.”

The new position was created last July after the port commissioners decided to eliminate the port manager position and then-manager Gary Johnston turned down the harbor master job. Hall was named interim harbor master until November when he officially took on the role.

During Hall’s brief stint overseeing the port, he accomplished several projects he had in the back of his mind as a marine attendant, such as remodeling the bathrooms and establishing a monthly parking system.

“These are projects I wanted to do for years and the commissioners allowed me to do it,” he said.

Other additions he implemented include purchasing new boat motors for the port’s vessel (“It’s just twice the boat it used to be”) and the new computer system (“I think it will serve the port for many years to come”).

“I can leave with a good, clear conscience with all the things that I got done,” Hall explained. “(They) need someone to be a part of the next master planning process.”

While he said he has enjoyed his time in the Northwest, Hall is ready to try something new, such as pursuing a different career and revisiting his family roots. His wife went to college in New Mexico and Hall’s mother was a snowbird who vacationed in Arizona.

When Hall would visit, he discovered the advantages of the warmer and drier climate and the opportunity to be outside year-round. While Hall and his wife have been established in the Northwest for 26 years, they agreed that it was time to move on.

“I want to be able to spend more time outdoors,” Hall said. “For the next 10 years of our life, I (want) to get into something different.”

He plans to give the real estate business a try using his background as a mortgage lender from another career and some property he purchased there more than a decade ago.

“It’s going to be a heck of an adventure,” he said.

Hall’s last day is April 30.

Another familiar face in the port office is also leaving — office manager Ellie Ulvila will be retiring at the end of May to travel the country this summer. Marine attendant Scott Coulter will be taking over her position as office manager.

Ulvila has been with the port for 13 years, managing the books, the cash and the people.

“I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly,” Ulvila said. “I’ve had a fun time. It’s a great place to work.”

Ulvila was initially attracted to the job because of the interaction with the community. She also enjoyed watching the port turn small “dilapidated” buildings into more office-like facilities and recreation areas.

“I’ve watched it come a long way and I’ve really enjoyed that,” she said.

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