Improving Governance at the Port

Judicious Oversight

Commissioners oversee the annual budget and approve significant capital expenditures. As your Commissioner I will demand transparent reporting and require that all budget information be available to the public. I will hold the Executive Director accountable and act to spare the Port from making costly mistakes with taxpayer's funds.

Accountability

Minutes, policy documents and financial reporting should be accessible for the public to evaluate and respond. As your Commissioner, I will make sure that better shared information results in better practices and decisions.

Plan for the Future

The Port's strategic planning is years out of date. As your Commissioner I will work to develop a financially sound strategic plan for the next decade based on an environmentally sound and economically sustainable vision with broad public input.

Teamwork

Commissioners must be able to work together in order to move the Port forward. As your Commissioner, I will work to make the deliberations of the Port Commission productive and civil, even when individual commissioners don't completely agree.

Collaborate

The Port of Olympia serves its community best when it collaborates with other governments and agencies to achieve our common goals. As your Commissioner, I will make sure that the Port is an active participant when our communities address important issues.

Prioritizes the protection of the public interest

Economic and Community Development

The People's Port

The goal of the Port of Olympia should be to support both quality jobs and quality of life for everyone in Thurston County. The Port must rework its outdated strategic plan and advocate for the values of industry, recreational access and environmental stewardship. As your Commissioner, I will especially strive to serve the needs of younger County residents.

Add Value to Agriculture

The Port supports both farmland and jobs when it promotes value-added industries and direct marketing for local produce. In addition to working with the Olympia Farmers Market to expanding warehousing and production opportunities, the Port is well positioned to support city-led initiatives such as Tumwater's ambitious Craft Brewing and Distilling Center. As your Commissioner, I will work with our city and county governments to support revitalization.

Preserve the Working Waterfront

Like farmland, the working waterfront should be sustainably preserved for many reasons. Olympia's Port peninsula and its maritime-oriented businesses face challenges shared by smaller coastal cities around the nation and around the world as they adapt to rapid economic, technological and environmental change. As your Commissioner I will work to set realistic boundaries around urban redevelopment, so that land value alone does not drive development on the Peninsula.

Adapt Transportation and Utilities for the Future

The Port serves as a leading voice for policies supporting quality, high-wage, sustainable employment opportunities. Its strengths in providing transportation, utility and industrial services should be used to support opportunities in new and renewable technologies, especially where it encourages carbon neutral transportation and job training in growing industries.

Plan for Emergencies

As your Commissioner, I will make sure that strategic planning includes emergency planning. Using regularly updated information, the Port must anticipate both the impact of emergencies on the Port, and work closely with other governments and agencies to optimize the role of the Port in providing emergency services.

Serve Community

Besides charging Ports over the years with tasks such as environmental cleanup and promoting recreational and tourism, our legislators have called for public ports to participate in supporting blighted or impoverished communities. As your Commissioner, I will help the Port of Olympia to engage its powers to assist in community crises such as homelessness when they arise. Port should strive to stand on their own and contribute to economic development. The Port should not make unwise capital investments, and then renegotiate debts as a substitute for sound planning. As your Commissioner, I will make sure that the Port prioritizes the protection of the public interest over the long term.

Stewardship of native plant and wildlife within the Port

Environmental Stewardship

Protect the Waters of Budd Inlet

Stormwater runoff from the Port has violated federal Clean Water standards for years, putting it on the losing side of environmental lawsuits and risking significant fines. It is time to make the Port part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Plan for Cleanup

Protecting public health is an important responsibility. Pollution cleanup deserves its own place in the Port strategic plan. The Port oversees property with significant industrial contamination, including a federal Superfund site. As your Commissioner I will push for a risk assessment based on up to date information so that we can move cleanup dollars to where they are needed.

Develop Port Real Estate Responsibly

The Port should not simply compete with the private sector in order to subsidize other Port operations. The Port realizes the greatest public value from its property assets by working with cities as they develop their own strategic plans. As your Commissioner, I will assure that the Port also weighs long-term potential for improving ecosystem services, achieving carbon neutrality, and recreational options.

Support Environmental Mitigation

The Port is currently working with the City of Tumwater on a Habitat Conservation Plan for endangered species. The Port should be an active partner and use its assets in every way possible to support both communities and ecosystems. This includes voluntary stewardship of native plant and wildlife on the Port's own properties.

Manage Risk

The coming four years are critical to set Thurston County on a good footing to meet the challenge of global warming. Port practices should be based on adaptive management for the impacts of global warming and population growth. As your Commissioner I will work with community partners to support the Port in developing affordable and effective strategies.

Save Our Salmon

The value of our most treasured natural resources must be protected. The Port should partner with other entities, including the tribes, to advocate for salmon-friendly policies.

Serve the people of Thurston County

Involving the Public

Build Trust

The Port of Olympia serves all the people of Thurston County, but unreflective commitment to business as usual can make the Port look like a captive of special interests. Respect and trust come from honest public engagement. As your Commissioner I will ask the hard questions, and demand a verifiable, fact-driven approach to serving the public interest.

Welcome Public Oversight

The purpose of public oversight is not to block good ideas, but to find better ones. The Port's SEPA environmental policy is one area where the Port creates unnecessary barriers to public involvement. As your Commissioner, I will work to revise policy to encourage public oversight to the full extent of the law.

Providing Transparency

The Port should provide public access to all operations, policies, and communications that it can under law. As your Commissioner I will encourage development of the Port website to reflect best practices in archival and informational science.

Straight Talk

Commissioners should provide clear guidance where outreach or public involvement involves Port policies and strategic planning. When the Commission seeks public involvement to help define policies or make decisions, I will make sure that we identify the purpose and goals of the process, and explain how public input will be put to use.