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Thurston Port Of Olympia Port Commissioner, District No. 3

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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    Gigi Mcclure (NP) Administrative Officer

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    Elizabeth (E.J.) Zita (NP) scientist and farmer

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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 (360) 451-2118
Town where you live Tenino
Experience (300 characters max) Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, served 21 years as a logistician. Participated in planning and movement of troops and cargo by rail, air and sea. Lead a multi-disciplined evaluation team to develop Corps level assessment standards for the Logistics Centers of Excellence. Incorporated regulation a
Seeking office as Port Commissioner as I believe the port is vital to the economic structure for delivering commerce throughout the county and a driver for creating jobs within the county. The port is the largest land holder in Thurston County. I want to bring fresh eyes to the current issues by separating fact from fiction without any hidden agenda. Create more public interest in development and partnerships with fiscally responsible spending.
1. Economic Development – The port cannot generate commercial interest with local policies in place that make business opportunities unattractive. 2. Modernization and Stabilization – The Marine Terminal is an asset to the community and a continuous flow of commerce. Gain community partnerships that energize economic growth looking beyond diversified cargos, and self-sustaining port properties. 3. Public Engagement and transparency – Increasing public engagement with clear communication and continued education projects to encourage positive interaction with the community
Economic Development
To ensure an economic future for not only my family but for all the families in Thurston County as well.
Phone (360) 951-8445
YouTube Video
Town where you live Thurston County
Experience (300 characters max) Zita was elected Port Commissioner after appointment to a port Advisory Committee on Economic Development. She was elected to chair Thurston County’s Agriculture Committee. With a PhD in physics, Zita worked in industry and national laboratories, and teaches her students to benefit communities.
Since 2005, Zita led her neighborhood and cooperated with the City of Tumwater to hold the Port to higher standards. Appointed to the Port’s advisory committee on Economic Development in the New Market Industrial Campus, Zita supports sustainable development, public participation, and environmental stewardship. Recruited to run for Port Commissioner, Zita was elected in a grassroots campaign of Port for the People. A lifelong union supporter, Zita is supported by many labor unions to improve labor standards at the Port.

An expert in renewable energy, Zita works for better jobs and a better future. Her students work in teams to solve real problems, and planned Evergreen’s major new solar installation. A leader in the agriculture community, Zita supports farming, local food systems, and incentives to conserve working land. Zita is an outspoken advocate for Port transparency, accountability, and cooperation with the public. She supports policies for cleaner air, water, and land.
1. Port finances must improve so that we can drive economic development and jobs throughout Thurston County. Zita supports appropriate real estate development and community-based economics - to help meet the needs of a booming population, and to help the Port’s bottom line.

2. Improved transparency and accountability can help the Port with better planning and performance. Public engagement and cooperation with local governments should increase – that’s smart and fair. Zita supports responsive listening, democratic processes, and the Open Public Meetings Act.

3. Environmental stewardship should clean up polluted water and land, restore shorelines and waterways, and guide sustainable development. Planning for climate change should protect public investments from sea level rise and other impacts. Transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy can drive business and jobs. Zita wants responsible planning for the future.
Community: improved transparency and accountability is the most urgent issue facing the Port. Greater public engagement and cooperation with local residents and governments, including Tribal governments, can help the Port improve our economic performance and our environmental stewardship. Every major Port proposal should have a public process facilitated by independent experts. Cooperative planning will bring good ideas to our Port, and help us avoid costly mistakes.

Port Commissioners agreed to support Community, Economics, and Environment, with a focus on Resiliency for the future, in our 2017 Strategic Plan. These three issues are dynamically connected. With our new Strategic Plan, the port should consider costs and risks as carefully as benefits. Zita supports a Port Community Planning model similar to Tumwater University. Open engagement and respectful listening with the public can improve port relations and decisions.
Responsibility to the public is Zita’s primary interest. Ports were set up a century ago to ensure shoreline access for the public, and to manage public resources like marine terminals, marinas, airports, and real estate. Port Commissioners promise “fiducial responsibility” to the public. That means smart and fair resource management, with openness, accountability, and public participation. That means maximizing benefits, economically and for communities, while protecting or restoring the environment.

Some port projects may meet all 3 targets – for example, incubator hubs that create jobs for diverse groups, with environmental care. Other projects need port money to help communities or the environment – for example, cleaning up toxic waterways and lands, and creating public parks.

Any big port project needs real community engagement – for planning and doing. And a financially sound port can do the most good for our community and our environment. logo


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