Topic: Seattle Port Commission
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February 26, 2013 at 3:28 PM
Port of Seattle Commission President Tom Albro announced today his proposal to give port commissioners a $35,000 raise — from $6,000 a year to the annual salary paid to state legislators, a little more than $42,000 a year.
Just to show he’s not trying to get rich, Albro said he will waive the salary for himself, and he is proposing it right before he has to face re-election, possibly attracting more viable candidates to his own race. He said he knows the issue of giving his own commission a huge raise is politically dicey, but sees it as “for the public good.”
As it stands, the only people able to serve on the Port Commission are those who don’t have to work full-time to pay the bills, Albro said at today’s Port Commission meeting at Pier 69.
“We intend our government to be a representative democracy — that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. For this to be true, average citizens must be reasonably able to serve in elected office. But that is not the case when it comes to serving on the Port Commission. The vast majority of us simply can’t afford to give away half our working hours, no matter how much we might be drawn to public service,” he said.
Commissioner Rob Holland, who is resigning next month, has struggled throughout his term to hold down a job and got in trouble for using his Port credit card for personal expenses to help make ends meet.
Holland will have a chance to vote on the commissioners’ raise if Albro sticks to his schedule: he’ll introduce his resolution March 5 for a final vote March 12. Holland’s resignation is effective March 15. Three commissioners must vote for a pay raise for it to pass.
Commissioner Bill Bryant said he isn’t likely to support the legislation. Plenty of public servants don’t get paid, he said.
“Democracy is not a spectator sport. It requires us to get involved,” he said. “I’m spending my time working on issues that generate jobs, not giving myself a raise.
January 30, 2013 at 4:57 PM
Former City Council member Jan Drago is re-entering public life, again, with a run for the Seattle Port Commission.
Drago submitted an application to be appointed to the seat Gael Tarleton vacates this month. Tarleton is stepping down because she was elected to the state Legislature. The seat will be up for election in 2013, and Drago said she is likely to run for it whether she wins the appointment this spring or not. Candidates have until Friday at noon to apply for the position. The Port Commission will invite up to 20 applicants to its Feb. 5 meeting to make a presentation, and select a candidate in March.
By applying, Drago is returning to politics for the second time. She served on the Seattle City Council for 16 years, and ran an unsuccessful campaign for Seattle mayor in 2009. Then, she was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the King County Council. She did not run again for the seat.
Now Drago, 72, says she wants to work on the issues the Port faces: job creation, tourism, international trade.
Several other names of possible candidates are circulating. Former Bellevue City Council candidate Vicki Orrico said she intends to apply. Orrico, a former lawyer who now runs a consulting firm, said her experience implementing strategic plans would be a value to the Port, which has a new 20-year Century Agenda it needs to make a reality.
Both Drago and Orrico said the all-male commission is looking for some gender diversity, and in Orrico’s case, geographic diversity. Of the sitting commissioners, only John Creighton lives on the Eastside.
January 8, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton said today he will seek re-election this year. He’s been on the commission since 2006 and served as president in 2007 and 2008. He ran unopposed in 2009.
He said in a news release he will campaign on his leadership helping the port grow sustainably, particularly its cruise operations. He cited his work on reform. During his tenure, audits have exposed spending and conflict-of-interest problems among commissioners.
Creighton also touted his role in the Port’s Century Agenda, a marketing plan to increase Port business. The port is under pressure from development interests in Sodo and competition from the Port of Tacoma, as well as ports in British Columbia and California.
Creighton, a business lawyer and Democrat, challenged Metropolitan King County Councilwoman Jane Hague for her seat in 2011, but lost in the primary after his opponent made an issue of a protective order taken out against him by a former girlfriend.
Commissioners Tom Albro and Rob Holland also are up for re-election. No word yet on whether they plan to run. In addition, the commission will begin this month taking applications from candidates hoping to be appointed to replace Gael Tarleton. Tarleton is resigning at the end January from the Port Commission because she was elected to the state House of Representatives.
November 13, 2012 at 5:17 PM
Seattle Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton announced today she plans to resign her position to serve as newly elected state representative in Seattle’s 36th District. Tarleton, the port commission’s president, won a hard-fought campaign against Noel Frame last week.
Tarleton, who was first elected in 2007, was a leading voice this summer’s controversy over Port CEO Tay Yoshitani’s post on an outside company’s board. Tarleton came out strongly to argue that Yoshitani should choose between his Port post and his outside job.
In a statement at today’s Port Commission meeting, Tarleton said she would resign at the first commission meeting in 2013. The commission has 90 days after she resigns to appoint someone to fill the vacancy she leaves behind, and voters will elect someone in the next general election to fill the remainder of her term.
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