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Thurston Port Of Olympia Port Commissioner, District No. 2

4-year term (ports in counties with over 100,000 pop); 4 or 6 year term counties with under 100,000 pop) Salary $42,106 (2013) in King, varies in other port districts. The Port District is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the port facilities within their jurisdiction. The commission sets the general policies of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional Port Director and their professional staff. One of commission's main duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any Port levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The commission sets policies and approves all spending via the budget, whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for district employees.
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    Bill Fishburn (NP) Project Management Consultant

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    Bill Mcgregor (NP) Port of Olympia Commissioner

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Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What are three major issues facing the port?

Of the three, which one is the most urgent?

What is your primary interest in the operation of the port?

Phone (434) 767-8002
YouTube Video
Town where you live Rainier
Experience (300 characters max) I worked for the Intel Corporation for more than 21 years in a variety of leadership roles. I've held leadership positions in everything from PTA and Cub Scouts to Girl Scouts of Western Washington and two non-profits, where I still serve as board president.
First, I've been involved in my community in leadership positions for as long as I can remember, and I've always wanted to contribute in a more impactful way. Second, I became frustrated with politics during the 2016 election cycle, and felt like I needed to be a part of the solution. I began looking for ways to serve in a public capacity, and someone suggested looking at county-wide races. Upon investigating the Port of Olympia, I realized it had some problems in need of solutions. With an engineering background and more than ten years of corporate program management, it seemed like the coming together of several issues at once for me. I saw the Port as an opportunity to apply my leadership and problem solving skills while contributing to my community in a broader and more impactful way.
The Port is struggling with fiscal responsibilty, transparency, and its obligation to be an environmental steward. The Port is approximately $50M in debt, and it continues to lose money in each of its four main business lines. We need to examine each business line on its own merit, determine its fiscal viability, and make decisions about whether each is an appropriate investment of public resources.

The Port needs to involve the public in more of its discussions and decisions. With the recent decision by the Supreme Court, the onus is on the Port to make more, not fewer, of its meetings open to the public. It needs to return to verbatim transcripts of minutes so that the disadvantaged who are unable to attend meetings can read what is said at meetings.

The Port currently spends about $2M per year on environmental cleanup. It needs to do more to provide a publicly accessible waterfront free from contamination and pollution. It needs to begin planning now for inevitable sea level rise
Environmental stewardship is the most urgent issue facing the port today. With a focus on industries of the last century like fossil fuels support and logging, the port is missing out on its opportunity to be a leader in the county on environmental issues. We need to focus it on improving its financial positions so that it can afford to clean up our waterfront for everyone's use; focus on clean energy jobs both in manufacturing and in infrastructure; focus on preparing for the inevitable effects of anthropogenic climate change like sea level rise. Growth sector jobs for our county are in clean energy jobs, especially those associated with transportation; an area where the Port can play a significant role with ideas like ferry fleets and renewed airline services. Agricultural jobs, especially those involved in processing, are a growth area. Both sectors create a more resilient, forward-looking economic opportunities for our county and communities.
Creating an entity that serves all of Thurston County's residents is my primary interest. Ports and port districts were created to ensure public oversight of public resources. This means Port Commissioners have a responsibility to the people who elect them to maximize benefits of those resources while protecting our environment.
Phone (360) 918-3821
Town where you live Lacey, WA
Experience (300 characters max) Please see my answer to Question No. 1 Below
I have been involved in the Port Industry for over 38 years (11 years as the Port of Olympia Commissioner from District #2). My experience and knowledge of the Port industry, the knowledge of the relating state statutes that Ports were formed under (RCW53), and my desire to serve the community that I worked for as a Port Director of Operations from 1989 – 1997 at the Port of Olympia. Since I have been retired in 2000, I spent 6 years as the Facilities Director of Saint Martins University and then applied for and was appointed to the Port Commission in late 2006. Ports have been an important facet of my life, from my 4 years of service in the United States Coast Guard to the 38 years of working in the Port Industry. It was time to give back to my community, the community of Thurston County since the Port serves ALL of the citizens.
1. Continuing to clean up environmental legacy pollution – from the land around the Hands on Childrens Museum to Budd Inlet to the Tumwater Airport; 2. Economic Development of land that the Port controls. The Port is one of the largest land owners in the county and land that is sitting fallow is not generating revenues nor is it increasing job growth as companies locate in our community. Having sustainable economic growth is an important impact that the Port can have in Thurston County. 3. Sea Level Rise (SLR) – as we are all aware this is going to happen in the next 30 – 50 years. The Port in partnership with the City of Olympia and LOTT are working on a plan that will address the issues of SLR. It is anticipated that this plan with recommendations will be forthcoming in the next few months.
? In my opinion, all three are just as important as the next one. They all have huge impacts on obtaining adequate funding sources (grants, etc.), implementation strategies, and future planning exercises. With the new Focus on Accountability recently adopted by the Commission: Economic Opportunities, Environmental Stewardship and Community Assets will help this port become a Resilient Port for all Thurston County citizens.
This Port is one of a handful of the 75 Ports in this state that operates 4 major lines of businesses – Swantown Marina/boatworks, Tumwater Airport, Marine Terminal, and the Properties Division. All four enterprises contribute to the overall success of the Port and this community. In the most recent Economic Benefit Study (2014) completed by a third party, the Port economic development impact was almost 4400 jobs, $287.7 million in Business Revenues, $90.3 million in local purchases, and $22.2 million in state/local taxes. The AVERAGE salary for total port activity for direct job holders increased to $44,000 per year. logo


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