Cost-cutting for the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center has eliminated a third staff position.
Davin Diaz, who was hired in 2008 as campaign manager and became director of development, has been let go. His last day was May 31, said Lisa Toomey, CEO for the Reach.
"It was part of our strategy for layoffs to control costs," Toomey explained. The decision had nothing to do with his performance, but solely was because of financial reasons, she said.
Toomey, who was hired in February to replace former CEO Kimberly Camp, said her first responsibility is to get finances under control.
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"Outside contracts had to go, then it was operational cuts. It got to the point of looking at staffing levels," Toomey said.
Steve Lee and Doug Hageman, who Diaz hired a year ago, were the first two Reach employees to lose their jobs.
Diaz, who was hired by Camp four years ago, became the third, and Toomey said her strategy calls for the possibility of a fourth employee being laid off.
Other cost savings have included moving out of a suite of offices that cost $20,000 a year into a smaller space that has been provided at no cost.
Toomey said the she has taken on some of the duties that were handled by laid-off staff members.
Diaz worked on developing support for the interpretive center project. He recently began working on a series of educational projects that were to show how Hanford Reach stories can be shared with the public even before the multimillion dollar facility is built.
Lee handled public communications for the Reach Interpretive Center and Hageman's primary responsibility was writing grants.
The first round of cuts, including Lee's and Hageman's positions, were expected to shrink expenses by 35 percent for the rest of 2012.
Toomey told the Richland Public Facilities District board in April that the current budget would be $283,000 less with her recommended cuts, which included eliminating outside consulting for marketing, public relations and fundraising.
The additional savings from eliminating Diaz' job will bring the total savings to about $350,000.
The Reach board voted in April to move ahead with plans to build the project in two phases, with the first phase being 26,000 square feet.
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; email@example.com