The Port of Olympia commission on Monday likely will assign new study ideas to its advisory committee, the 12-member volunteer group that tackles port issues and provides input to the commission.
Some of the ideas that the port commission would like its advisory group to study were raised at the port’s study session Thursday. Commissioner Jeff Davis recommended that he and his fellow commissioners, Bill McGregor and George Barner, each bring their four favorite ideas to Monday’s commission meeting. The study ideas might include:
• The port’s role in Thurston County job creation.
• A real estate investment strategy.
• The port’s possible role in helping the former Olympia brewery and its rail yard.
• Sea-level rise.
• An enhanced public participation process.
• Addressing frequently asked questions about the port.
• NorthPoint, an area at the north end of the port peninsula that has been identified for development.
During Thursday’s meeting, McGregor latched on to the idea of developing a more thorough public participation process so that the port can avoid “11th hour” claims by groups that say they haven’t been heard on certain issues. “That does nothing but bring things to a halt,” he said, adding that in addressing those last-minute concerns, the port also gets criticized for not moving projects along fast enough.
“I want to see things move,” McGregor said.
Executive Director Ed Galligan also shared with the commission a letter the port had received from a resident who criticized the makeup of the port’s advisory committee, writing about the PAC that it “does not seem to be a representative sample of the broader community and not independent of the port.” The author’s name was not disclosed. McGregor defended the composition of the advisory committee and its independence from the port.
“I think that’s totally off base,” he said.
The Port of Olympia last week named four new members and three alternates to its advisory committee.
The four new members are Richard Korn, a longshoreman; Steve Garrett, owner of the Windermere Olympia real estate office; Frank Gorecki, retired, formerly employed at The Boeing Co.; and John Hurley, vice president for finance and administration at The Evergreen State College. The three alter- nates are Owen McCurty, state Employment Security Department employee; John Youmans, retired, formerly a project manager; and Heber Kennedy, formerly the port’s senior manager of property development.
The existing members of the port’s advisory committee are commercial real estate broker Lisa Cosmillo, attorney Clydia Cuykendall, financial examiner Joseph Downing, engineer Don Melnick, former university professor Keith Laws, former port commissioner Jim Wright and Boeing employee Kevin Partlow.
The advisory committee chairman is Riley Moore, associate professor of economics at Saint Martin’s University.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 firstname.lastname@example.org www.theolympian.com/bizblog