Topic: Port of Seattle
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November 5, 2013 at 7:09 AM
UPDATE, 8:25 p.m.: Incumbent Port Commissioner John Creighton was holding a lead over Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis in Tuesday’s initial election results, and three other incumbents were also leading their challengers.
In initial returns, Creighton was leading 69 percent to 31 percent.
Voters were supporting two appointed commissioners, Courtney Gregoire and Stephanie Bowman. Gregoire was beating Socialist opponent John Naubert 83 percent to 17 percent, and Bowman was leading over former travel agent Michael Wolfe, 70 percent to 29 percent.
And commission president Tom Albro was holding a lead over his challenger, Eastside lawyer Richard Pope, with 58 percent of the vote to Pope’s 42 percent.
ORIGINAL POST: Four incumbents on the Port of Seattle Commission face re-election challenges today.
Commissioner John Creighton is up against Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis.
Courtney Gregoire and Stephanie Bowman, who were appointed to open seats this year, face John Naubert and Michael Wolfe, respectively.
Commission President Tom Albro is challenged by lawyer Richard Pope.
The four commissioners, along with Commissioner Bill Bryant, make up a commission eager to reinvent itself and gain clout after losing a high-profile battle against a proposed Sodo arena. The commissioners spent much of their campaigns arguing that the Port deserves more attention for its role in the local economy.
September 30, 2013 at 1:13 PM
The Port of Seattle Commission sent a strongly worded letter to Seattle Mayor McGinn today, urging the city to start over on the review process for a proposed sports arena in Sodo.
The Port has opposed the arena from the start, saying it would tangle traffic near the city’s seaport, threatening its competitive position and crowding out maritime and industrial businesses that support middle-class jobs in Seattle. The commission’s letter today is a reaction to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed arena.
“Not only are arena proponents risking Sodo’s full-time, middle class jobs, they are also gambling with city finances,” the letter says.
The Port claims that the city should have analyzed alternative sites for an arena, even though a private investment team led by Chris Hansen is only interested in the Sodo site near Safeco Field. The letter also says the traffic analysis in the report “lacks all credibility.” The letter urges the city to start the process over.
February 8, 2013 at 3:58 PM
Six women are the finalists for an open Port of Seattle Commission seat, the Port announced this afternoon. The seat was vacated by State Rep. Gael Tarleton, who joined the state Legislature this year, so the commission must appoint someone to fill her seat until the end of the year. Tarleton was the only woman on the five-member commission.
The finalists are: Stephanie Bowman, of Seattle, a former government-affairs manager for the Port of Tacoma who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the state House of Representatives last year; Courtney Gregoire, the daughter of former governor Chris Gregoire who is an attorney for Microsoft and formerly worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce; Former state Sen. Claudia Kauffman, of Kent, a Native American and founder of the Native Action Network; Deborah Knutson, who formerly ran the Economic Development Council of Snohomish County; Vicki Orrico, who formerly ran for mayor of Bellevue and is a member of the Bellevue College Board of Trustees; and Nancy Wyatt, of Kent, president of the Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce and former president of the Covington Chamber of Commerce.
The commissioners heard from 29 applicants Tuesday, as each gave a three-minute speech.
Some members said they hoped for an Eastside candidate, but only Orrico lives in the Eastside, in Bellevue.
“We were impressed with the quality and diversity of the candidates we heard from this week,” said Commission President Tom Albro in a statement.
The finalists will move on to two forums: One Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. in the Downtown Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Avenue in Seattle, and one Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Renton City Council Chambers, 1055 S. Grady Way in Renton.
The commission plans to make an appointment early next month. The seat will be up for re-election in November.
February 4, 2013 at 7:00 AM
About 30 people applied to be appointed to a vacant seat on the Port of Seattle Commission. The deadline was Friday to submit an online application. One of the applicants will be appointed to the seat left vacant by Gael Tarleton, who was elected state representative. Voters will select a commissioner in November 2013, but the winner of the appointment will have nine months or so in office until then.
Today, commissioners will narrow the list to 20 applicants, who will be invited to give three-minute presentations at Tuesday’s Port Commission meeting. From there, the commission will narrow the field to six, and select a new commissioner in March.
Former City Council member Jan Drago said last week she applied, and Courtney Gregoire, the daughter of former Gov. Chris Gregoire, also has applied. Courtney Gregoire was appointed in November by her mom to the board of trustees for the state’s community colleges.
The entire list of applicants is on the Port web site.
November 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM
Port of Seattle Commissioner Rob Holland put off indefinitely a proposal to allow commissioners to hire interns to act as personal assistants. At the port’s meeting this afternoon, Holland withdrew the budget amendment he had planned to introduce last-minute. He said he supports the proposal to have the five commissioners be able to hire their own assistants to help answer e-mail and phone calls, summarize meetings and analyze topics — but it needs further discussion.
Holland might not have had enough votes to pass the amendment to the Port’s 2013 budget. Commissioners Bill Bryant and Gael Tarleton had expressed concerns. Tarleton said Holland was looking for someone “to do his job” and Bryant said he wasn’t sure what problem the interns were intended to solve.
In a short statement today, Holland offered a defense of his proposal. Part-time port commissioners work hard running for office, taking time away from their families, holding full-time jobs, all in the interest of “the economic vitality of this region.” He added: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with … this body of people asking for individuals to come in and learn and train and be of assistance.”
Commissioner John Creighton, who had planned to second the amendment, said he was in favor of commissioners being able to hire interns, but the details needed work. Port CEO Tay Yoshitani said there is enough money in the Port budget to pay for the interns if the commissioners decide they want them mid-year.
July 19, 2012 at 6:05 AM
People on both sides of a debate over a new basketball and hockey arena in Sodo are building teams of their own. That would be teams of consultants, and they have hired more than a few to handle the political and communications hurdles they anticipate.
We’ve covered former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck’s $40,000 contract with the Port of Seattle. He’ll work on the land-use angle. The Port is also negotiating a contract for a consultant to handle communications about the arena, but they wouldn’t confirm the consultant’s name Wednesday night.
The Manufacturing Industrial Council, which opposes the arena, is working with Pacific Public Affairs.
On the pro-arena side, private investor Chris Hansen has hired Rollin Fatland, a longtime local political consultant and former deputy King County executive. Working for Fatland is top Democratic consultant Christian Sinderman, for political advice, and lobbyist Lynn Claudon, a land-use specialist and the wife of former Seattle Mayor Charley Royer. (Royer’s son, incidentally, is arena opponent and shipping industry lobbyist Jordan Royer).
Mayor Mike McGinn has hired Tim Ceis, the former deputy mayor who started a private consulting business after McGinn ousted his boss, Greg Nickels, from the mayor’s office in 2009. McGinn also hired New Jersey-based arena consultant Carl Hirsh.
July 6, 2012 at 8:53 AM
Former Seattle City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck told Seattle Times reporter Bob Young this week that he “had no communication with them (the Port) prior to the testimony,” he gave at a June 18 meeting of the Metropolitan King County Council.
Critics of the partnership have suggested that Steinbrueck was not being completely truthful June 18, when he portrayed himself as an independent party. “I’m just a citizen,” he said at one point.
To see whether Steinbrueck was already negotiating with the Port about a more formal arrangement at the time of his testimony, we requested all communication between Steinbrueck and the Port. What we found was an April e-mail in which Steinbrueck asked the Port for a copy of a letter about the arena. Later in April, Steinbrueck filed some routine paperwork registering his consulting business as a potential contractor for the Port.
It’s hard to know whether that was all done to pave the way for a contract, but Steinbrueck says he was being truthful June 18 when he portrayed himself as independent of the Port’s interests.
Steinbrueck said King County Councilman Larry Phillips suggested he speak at the June 18 meeting, so he did. The possibility of consulting for the Port “was not on my mind,” he said yesterday.
After the meeting, Steinbrueck said he suggested to Port CEO Tay Yoshitani that “we get together to talk about some ideas.” They did, on June 22. On June 25, Steinbrueck submitted a proposal. He signed a contract June 28.
“I’m a consultant,” he said. “I work with major mission-driven institutions and governments. That’s what I do. I certainly have an eye out for opportunities in that regard.”
On April 6, Steinbrueck wrote to Port staff asking for a copy of a letter the Port wrote about its concerns about the arena. He did that for his own purposes, he said, and not in preparation to do work for the Port.
“I actually have been following this issue … and I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable sitting on the sidelines on it,” he said.
Steinbrueck said his history working on land-use will guide his work for the Port. He wants to talk more about the land-use implications of putting an arena in Sodo, and whether it is consistent with the city’s land-use plans.
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