There are two candidates vying for the Port of Bellingham's district 2 this year. Both say they want to clean up the waterfront and bringing more jobs to Whatcom County. But look closely and I believe you will see some fundamental differences.
Mike McAuley is endorsed by the Whatcom County Commercial Fisherman's Association, labor groups, environmental groups, firefighters, and most businesses on the waterfront. He supports port properties being managed in the interest of the taxpayers. He lowered port taxes for all county residents by 5 percent, and pushed for energy efficient upgrades that have saved us money. I find he does his homework, shows up to meetings and has a proven record. Most of his donations were small and from local people.
His opponent, Ken Bell, got thousands in donations from real estate brokers and developers. Bell is a former representative for Recomp and a member of the Whatcom Planning Commission who spends much of his time traveling overseas through his company, Best Recycling. According to records, he missed nearly half of his meetings in the past two years. The taxpayers need a port commissioner who is committed to showing up.
The outcome of this race will have a real and lasting impact on Whatcom County for decades to come. We can't let our valuable waterfronts be gobbled up by private development. The choice is clear to me: re-elect Mike McAuley!