The elected commissioners who oversee the Port of Tacoma and Metro Parks Tacoma have similar roles — providing policy direction, allocating funds and responding to the public.
Their core missions are direct opposites, though: work and play. Port commissioners ensure that Pierce County residents benefit from jobs generated by the port, while parks commissioners focus on enhancing residents’ free time.
Two longtime members of those commissions are seeking re-election Nov. 5, and The News Tribune editorial board endorses both of them: Connie Bacon for the port and Tim Reid for parks.
• Bacon, the former director of the World Trade Center Tacoma, is seeking a fifth and final term on the port commission. Two other commissioners, Dick Marzano and Don Meyer, are unopposed for re-election.
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During Bacon’s tenure, the port has upgraded infrastructure, increased container and breakbulk cargo, attracted new customers, diversified its business base and expanded the workforce on the Tideflats.
Her challenger is Eric Holdeman, security chief at the port until he was laid off last spring during a reorganization. He is an acceptable alternative, but doesn’t have Bacon’s breadth of knowledge and contacts that will be needed as the port enters a period of heightened competition for business. Voters should give her another term.
• Reid, who is seeking his fourth term on the Metro Parks board, has a challenger in Jessica Smeall, who declined to be interviewed by the editorial board. Another park commissioner, Aaron Pointer, is unopposed.
Reid’s involvement with Tacoma goes back many years, including serving as chairman of the Tacoma Public Utilities Board. On the parks commission, he’s pushed for transparency and fiscal responsibility. He and the other commissioners must be doing something right; the district’s approval rating is 77 percent, he says, twice as high as the City of Tacoma’s.
Voters should reward Reid with a fourth term.
To read earlier endorsement editorials, go online to www.thenewstribune.com/endorsements.