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Local aqua man recognized for 18-year career

By PAUL BALCERAK

Staff writer

Here’s an oddball retirement gift: a big ol’ chunk of metal. It put a big smile on former Silverdale Water District Commissioner Seley Moore’s face, however, during Thursday’s luncheon celebrating his recent retirement.

Moore’s coworkers presented him with a piece of COR-TEN metal during the ceremony, a metal that Moore has wanted to use for years to build a new reservoir. The metal looks like it’s rusted, but doesn’t corrode, making it highly durable and easy to maintain.

In that way, Moore was a lot like his favorite metal, maintenance supervisor Tim Knapp said during the ceremony.

“You can always depend on Seley.”

Moore, too, had kind words for his coworkers.

“It was difficult to make that decision to retire,” he said. “Working with the water district has been one of the highlights of my life.”

During Moore’s 18-year, three-term career, the district installed more than 75 miles of water mains, developed five wells, four reservoirs, four pump stations, eight pressure-reducing stations, two water system plans and several stream, weather and lake monitoring stations. Throughout it all, Moore gained a reputation as a forward-thinker who always looked to maximize the district’s effectiveness on a long-term basis.

“He brought a real sense of practicality,” former water commissioner Alta Kendall said. “He was committed to balancing costs ... you could always count on him to look at all angles of a problem.”

Moore’s background as an engineer is perhaps what made him such an effective commissioner. He became an engineer in the Naval Academy and worked on several large scale projects: a naval hospital in Oanoke, Calif.; modification of dry docks and pier construction in Bremerton; and the construction of some 500 houses in Portland, Ore. that were shipped via barge to Alaska.

He’s also been involved in the Silverdale community as a regular at Central Kitsap Community Council meetings.

Whatever he does, however, he always has those around him in mind.

“It’s just service to the community — that’s what Seley’s done for so many years,” water commissioner Marcus Hoffman said. “You don’t step into this position for the limelight.”

Moore is succeeded by current commissioner John Poppe, who took over the reins in November when Moore declined to run again for the elected position.

“Seley leaves big shoes to fill,” Kendall said. “(But) I have every confidence in John’s ability to do that.”

Moore gave Poppe his seal of approval, too.

“I couldn’t find anyone better (to succeed me),” he said.

Moore will still be a presence in the district for the time being. As the district looks into ways to recharge wetlands and retain treated sewer waters that are normally pumped into Puget Sound, Moore will serve as an outside consultant of sorts.

“He won’t be a stranger,” general manager Morgan Johnson said. “We’re not going to let that resource go off into the sunset.”

But even when he finally does, Moore pledged confidence in his former coworkers and assured that the district is in good hands.

“It’s the people that have made it what it is,” he said. “More than just working hard, they work very effectively.”

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