County official named Floodplain Manager of the Year

Bryan Pohl said he was “very surprised and pretty excited” when he found out he’s being recognized as Floodplain Manager of the Year by the Northwest Regional Floodplain Management Association (NORFMA). 

By Ann Powers

Others were also excited but not surprised that Pohl, Tillamook County Community Development director, will receive the award at NORFMA’s annual conference in Yakima, WA, Sept. 20 – 23.

Bryan Pohl, Tillamook County Community Development Director
Bryan Pohl, Tillamook County Community Development Director

“We all know Bryan is a rock star,” County Commissioner Chair Mark Labhart said at the board’s Aug. 31 meeting. “It’s pretty nice when a county official gets recognized for their hard work.”

And that hard work is exactly why Scott Van Hoff, a National Flood Insurance Program Compliance specialist, nominated Pohl.

“What really stood out about Tillamook County is the dramatic turn around the county made when Bryan took over,” Van Hoff said. “The county had a number of violations over the years due to a FEMA audit. Now Tillamook County is a local government that other local governments look to for advice.”

Van Hoff added when he started his job in 2014, he was told Tillamook County would be his “biggest challenge.” Today, it’s his biggest go-to role model.

“The county is now an example I point to as good floodplain management,” he noted.

Pohl said the entire Department of Community Development is the true honoree.

“I personally get the award, but I certainly don’t take all the credit,” he emphasized. “Here at the county we’ve worked really, really hard to do our jobs better in response to floodplain management and safety.”

Commissioners appointed Pohl as the community development director in December, 2013 – just two months after he started working for the county as a “Planner 3” dealing with long-range and coastal planning. Previously, Pohl had been a county planning director in Indiana.

NORFMA is a nonprofit organization for regional networking and support on issues of environmental quality, economic sustainability and scientific discovery on a watershed basis. The association provides a channel for regional communication and cooperation in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska.