Town where you live
Gig Harbor, WA
Experience (300 characters max)
BA, Business Administration, University of Puget Sound. JD, Cornell Law School. I studied international business and law in mainland China and University of Hong Kong, where I also worked at US Commercial Service. I worked at Clean Energy Group in Vermont. Presently, I am an attorney in Tacoma.
When the world's largest methanol plant was to be built at the Port of Tacoma, which would have used 3-billion gallons/yr of water and increased pollution to help China manufacture more plastic, the community was stunned. Methanol plants are being built in an area in Louisiana called "Cancer Alley." Pierce County deserves a better vision. When it comes to major decisions that will affect our region's identity and future, the People must be properly informed and consulted. Since the Port Commission did not do this, there have been numerous protests and lawsuits. Time to heal the breach between the People and the Port Commission, and restore public confidence with high community engagement and transparency. The Port needs fresh diverse perspectives, and someone who can listen and lead. I can bring modern environmental sensibility and technology focus. To become a modern global port-city, the port must integrate with surrounding communities and be inclusive of their ideas and values.
1) Increased competition from the British Columbia ports who have made significant investments in port and national rail infrastructure. The Port of Tacoma must prepare its maritime terminals for the larger vessels. To compete, we must focus on modernizing our road and rail system. 2) Comprehensive Tideflats Plan. The Tideflats is in need of a strategic comprehensive plan that is inclusive of industry, residents and the Puyallup tribe. To thrive in the 21st century, ports must not solely rely on marine cargo operations for economic development, but also fully utilize its lands to serve multiple functions for the region's benefit. 3) LNG fracked gas facility, which will increase pollution in the area by emitting 21,000 tons CO2 and other pollutants per year, plus upstream methane leaks. There is also the safety question -whether this should even be sited in an urban port near residences. This project has also further fractured the Port's relationship with the Puyallup Tribe.
Comprehensive Tideflats Planning (which includes LNG issue). The next term will be transformative since it will define the Port and surrounding region for decades. The Port must seek profitable growth by serving multiple functions and roles beyond terminal operators. The goal should be an integrated smart sustainable port-city that maximizes land use and local talent. The subarea plan must be inclusive not only of industry, but also Pierce County residents and the Puyallup Tribe. The Port's "invisible wall" must come down and its insular and territorial culture must change. The Port must be open to the People's ideas, needs and values during the planning process. This includes reaching out to diverse communities and the younger generation. Renewable energy and clean technology are the future. It is critical we do not bind ourselves to new fossil fuel infrastructure. We must move forward from our toxic legacy and reputation, and not become a fossil fuel export center.
Port culture must change to usher in a new era of prosperity and environmental stewardship. This requires community, technology and green orientation. The Port of Tacoma describes itself as the "economic engine of Pierce County." It is an engine that is not operating at optimum levels since it is not strategically utilizing the Tideflats and talent in Pierce County. If you look at successful and prosperous Port cities around the world (like the Ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg), they are integrating with their cities and surrounding communities, creating synergy and coherence. Think of incubators, internet of everything and renewables. A modern 21st century global port city effectively utilizes its assets and talent and has great community relations. Business is about relationships, and it's time the Port repairs theirs. For Pierce County to fulfill it’s true potential, the Port, City and the Puyallup Tribe must work in concert to form the "ultimate economic and environmental engine."
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Port of Tacoma Commissioner, Former Deputy Director of Port of Tacoma, Tacoma Waterfront Association, Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board, Urban Studies Advisory Board, University of Washington -Tacoma, Former Pierce College Trustee, Army Veteran, Tacoma Rotary #8.
The Port of Tacoma is often described as the “economic engine” in Pierce County. As Commissioner, my overall goal and challenge is to ensure this valuable community asset continues to thrive especially in an extremely competitive environment. I remain committed to the creation of good paying jobs and attracting safe and sustainable investments that support quality communities throughout Pierce County. A clear vision for the future of the Port is possible by working together with citizens, our customers, labor partners, environmental organizations, and all interested stakeholders. My keen interest and passion is economic development throughout our county. My experience as a Commissioner and my role in the cleanup and redevelopment of the Foss Waterway in Tacoma gives me a unique perspective and the experience necessary to help ensure the Port remains a vibrant part of our community.
1. Rightsizing our maritime terminals given the ever-increasing size of vessels.
2. Comprehensive planning in the tideflats that balances the need to retain a working waterfront while pursuing environmentally safe and sustainable business practices.
3. Ensuring we are focused on the improvement of a modern and efficient road and rail system.
The Port operates in a very competitive environment with other trade gateways. Our success is dependent on modern facilities that meet changing customer needs while still being a good investment decision. We need land use policies that attract and allow existing businesses to grow in an environmentally sensitive and sustainable way. Combining environmental cleanup with redevelopment of our waterways and land is the model I used on the Foss Waterway in Tacoma and it is that balance we need in any planning efforts.
Comprehensive planning. Next year the Port will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary. This is not only a great opportunity to revisit the strategic vision for our Port but it can be done in a comprehensive way through the sub-area planning process. Numerous initiatives and land use policies for the tideflats have been advanced in good faith and I feel any planning efforts must be given a thorough examination. This process must be inclusive of all the key stakeholders and have a sense of urgency for completion.
My primary operational interests are sound financial investment decisions to help minimize the level of taxpayer subsidy and pursuing the strategy of a green marine international trade gateway. This means asking the hard questions on financial benchmarks for long term leases, challenging operating cost assumptions and pursuing a Commission tax policy that minimizes annual tax levies. We know that business practices of the past left our community with very contaminated land and waterways. The focus has been, and must continue to be, to finish the job of cleaning up our environment. This can be accomplished through a very strategic effort to combine economic initiatives with cleanup efforts. We must also insist on sustainable and safe operating business practices to ensure re-contamination doesn’t ever occur again.