The League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County is encouraged to hear that the port commissioners will consider how to provide video recordings of their meetings. This is an important step forward to inform the public about their work and educate them about the important issues - including waterfront clean-up and development and airport expansion. Democracy works best when the citizens are informed, and it is incumbent on our elected officials to reach out to the public.
We believe that an expenditure for recording the meetings is definitely worthwhile and it would help serve the port's core value: "a public organization with a reputation for delivering on it's commitments, working in an open decisive atmosphere, taking pride in its work, and communicating its contributions to the community." Real-time recordings that are promptly posted on the port's website and available to the community would have the secondary benefits of building public support for port business.
The league also urges commissioners to approve the minutes of each previous meeting at the beginning of the next scheduled meeting so minutes can become a part of the public record, posted and available to the public. This small step would build the community's trust that the port is being transparent with their decisions.
Jill Bernstein and Annette Holcomb