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Snohomish Port Of Edmonds Commissioner-At-Large Position #5

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.
  • Candidate picture

    Steven A. Johnston (NP) Retired CEO and Project Manager, Engineering and Environmental Firm

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    Susan Paine (NP) Regulatory Advisor City of Seattle - retired

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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?

Address Same
Phone (425) 478-1185
Email info@stevejohnstonforport
Town where you live Edmonds, WA
Experience (300 characters max) 40 year resident of Port District, 35 years environmental project management experience including several projects for the Port, 28 years business management experience (including CEO) at leading regional environmental firm, 30 years maritime experience as U. S. Naval officer and Port Commissioner
I am excited by the Port of Edmond’s success in building economic vitality within the Edmonds/Woodway community and its leadership in improving the health of the environment. The Port is a very important part of our community’s economic success and quality of life. I was appointed to the Port Commission in 2016. I have lived in the Port District for 40 years, and I chose to run in this election cycle because I love Edmonds and the Edmonds waterfront. I want to continue doing the outstanding work of the Port Commission in creating economic vitality, enhancing our 5-star marina and commercial properties that generate revenue and jobs, and protecting our waterfront and marsh. As a Port Commissioner, I work for the taxpayer, and I want to continue giving our taxpayers great value for their money.
First, the Port needs to continue focusing on the revenue generation required to maintain and improve our marina and commercial properties to keep them at full capacity. Second, increasing tourism is another issue of importance to the Port. We will continue to encourage tourism along the waterfront to create economic value to the community. Third, we recognize that many of the Port District’s residents and taxpayers don’t fully understand what the Port can and cannot do under State regulations governing ports. The Port’s primary purpose under the current law is to generate economic benefit within the Port District. Our commercial facilities at Harbor Square and along the waterfront support more than 800 jobs and our waterfront attracts thousands of tourists and whale watching vessel passengers. Ports cannot develop public parks unless they are linked with and support economic development at the Port.
Revenue generation through economic development and tourism expansion is the most important issue facing the Port, given its mandate under State regulations requiring public ports to create economic benefit within the Port District. The long term maintenance of the marina and Harbor Square require substantial revenues be set aside if we are to avoid having to raise taxes. The Port has used its substantial and growing revenue stream to set build a $12 million reserve to finance future marina maintenance and replacement. At Harbor Square, the Port has spent between $3 and $4 million of non-taxpayer money over the past 10-plus years on initiatives that have had a direct, positive impact on stormwater quality and the marsh—far more than any other stakeholder, including the City, which owns the majority of the marsh. The Port will need to sustain a strong revenue stream and reserve to maintain and improve its public assets into the future.
My primary interest is to serve the taxpayer and Port tenants well by sustaining the Port’s strong financial and environmental performance. I am proud to be part of the collaborative team of business and maritime professionals that make up the Commission. With my 35 years of experience providing environmental project management services to public ports and other clients, I will work to continue the spectacular financial performance of the Port in balance with environmental protection and preservation. I am proud of our boatyard’s Leadership Clean Boatyard certification, our state-of-the art pressure wash and boatyard runoff treatment systems, our successful recycling and waste reduction programs, our exemplary environmental inspection record, and our record of protecting our waterfront and marsh. Even with this enviable environmental record, I will continue to review our environmental practices to make improvements in balance with the interests of taxpayers and tenants.
Phone (206) 371-5148
Town where you live Edmonds, WA
Experience (300 characters max) I have over two decades of work within municipal government, including over a decade of experience in land use practices / environmental regulations. I previously served the Edmonds community as Edmonds School Board Director.
I’m running for Port Commissioner because this is the time when we, as a community, can focus our passion, energy, and resources on preserving and restoring the Edmonds Marsh for now and future generations.

The Edmonds Marsh is a natural jewel that attracts residents and visitors to our area and celebrates the natural environment and open space. By restoring the Marsh, the native fish species and other animals will have a home that is protected and supported. This is a mutually beneficial approach for all our partners.

The Port of Edmonds is our natural gateway to our lovely city. I’m invested in having the operations of the Port be an efficient and well-managed public entity. The Port is currently very capably managed. What I would bring to the Port Commission are strong management skills, creative problem-solving, and resource development. There are missed economic development opportunities by the Port on which I would focus my attention.
The Port of Edmonds is well managed and operates with a profit. The issues that the Port faces include:

1.   Creating more capacity to serve our community and our customers, now and in the future. This requires adding capacity to our marina activities, in an environmentally responsible manner. 2.   Ensure that any property redevelopment proposals, in sensitive or protected areas are evaluated through using the best available science and their long-term financial impact. This evaluation would include biological, geological and sea-level rise assessments. 3.   Look for funding resources to remediate the contamination and to restore the marsh and to daylight Willow Creek.    
The most urgent issue is the preservation and restoration of the Edmonds Marsh. There are contamination issues that need to be understood make plan for their resolution. The Marsh is adjacent to a major roadway and there are contaminants from that source plus there are stormwater issues that needs to be worked out with the City of Edmonds. To achieve success: 1. We need to partner with the City of Edmonds, WSDOT, the fishing and boating community, our business partners, and private property owners. We can’t achieve this goal alone; this effort will benefit from everyone’s input and participation. 2. We must be guided by science and use the best practices as informed by rigorous science. 3. We have to locate the resources to preserve and restore the Edmonds Marsh to have it start functioning as salmon habitat once again. The values of our community have always stood in favor of preserving the Marsh. Restoring the Marsh will add a natural element to our city's downtown district.
My interest in running for Port Commissioner is to bring a fresh viewpoint on some missed opportunities by the current commission. They have been focussed on adding heavy development into their property adjacent to the Marsh and have spent a lot of public funds with their non compliant proposal.

My campaign has two main areas of focus - First, to set up systems to permanently preserve the Marsh and find the resources to start the restoration. Second, to explore and implement economic development opportunities for the marina operations in an environmentally responsible manner.

My background in working with developers on their projects in finding creative solutions that comport with codes and regulations would provide the Port with new options. My science background is well suited for understanding the natural and environmental systems needed to restore our marsh.

This is the time to restore the Edmonds Marsh and to bring the Port into the mix as an economic element for the City. logo


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