Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598

Date: November 17, 2006
Contact: PJ Callahan
Phone: (360) 337-4481
No. 06-95

County Announces Selection of New Community Development Director

PORT ORCHARD, WA—Kitsap County announced today that Larry Keeton, former Lewis County Chief of Staff, has been appointed as the new director of the Department of Community Development (DCD). Keeton has over 30 years experience in public administration, strategic planning, human resource development, emergency communications and project management. He joined Lewis County in 2001 as Director of General Administration before being promoted to Chief of Staff in 2004. Prior to joining Lewis County, Keeton retired from the U.S. Army as a Garrison Commander in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where he served in a position equivalent to a City Manager.

Keeton holds a Masters in Public Administration from Troy University in Alabama, a Masters in Education from Oregon State University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.

As the new director of DCD, Keeton will work hand-in-hand with assistant directors Jim Bolger and Jeff Rowe-Hornbaker, and will have overall responsibility for planning, organizing and directing the development, implementation and enforcement of county policies and procedures related to community planning, building code, natural resources, fire investigation/fire inspection, zoning and land use administration within unincorporated areas of Kitsap County.

“We were looking for a dynamic and talented leader to serve as the county’s Community Development Director,” said Jan Angel, Chair of the Kitsap Board of County Commissioners, “and with Mr. Keeton, we feel we have achieved that goal.”

Keeton was selected from more than 40 applicants from throughout the nation. “Larry is strong leader who has a rock-solid experience in effectively managing people and projects,” said Cris Gears, County Administrator. “He is passionate about customer service and accountability, and is well aware of the challenges and opportunities he will face as the new DCD director.”

Some of the professional challenges Keeton will be asked to address during his first 18 months of employment include community outreach, organizational analysis, staffing continuity, integrating technology systems, refining an online permitting system and keeping up with amendments and updates to the county’s Comprehensive Plan to maintain compliance with the Growth Management Act. He will oversee the department’s 87 employees and a $7.4 million annual budget. His annual salary will be $101,732.

“I’m excited about serving the citizens of Kitsap County while working with the tremendous talent in the Community Development Department,” Keeton said. “The management team and I agree that our priorities are improving business processes, meeting the land use planning challenges and enhancing employees’ skills. It’s going to be fun coming to work everyday."

To contact the Kitsap County Public Information Office, 
call PJ Callahan at 360-337-4481 or email:

Last Updated:  May 27, 2014