Three years ago I ran for Port Commissioner (and lost), but when I campaigned in county, I invariably was politely asked; "What has the port done for us in the county?"
These county voters after all had paid taxes to the port. I did not have good answer, and the incumbent never bothered to show up. It was a fair question though.
In the 90-year history of the Port of Bellingham, the port has been dominated by Bellingham commissioners. The county has grown larger than Bellingham now. Five commissioners will guarantee broad county taxpayer representation. It is only fair.
Five commissioners costs a few cents more, but broad representation is priceless in a democracy.
When it comes to jobs, the port should put jobs ahead of yachts. Jobs for the whole county. I believe the new yacht marina planned is a poor use of taxpayer dollars benefiting a few, when we need jobs. Port of Skagit is successfully pursuing aerospace jobs, capitalizing on Boeing's success. These are good-paying jobs. This is smart economic development. The Port of Bellingham needs to refocus on job creation.
The port needs to reset its quarrelsome relationship with the city to get the waterfront back on track by partnering with the city's Bellingham Public Development Authority.
Five commissioners will improve the focus of our port on our current needs.
Please consider joining me in voting yes on port Proposition 1.