STORY UPDATED WITH OFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS
Port of Olympia Commissioner Michelle Morris, who filled an interim role on the commission after Sue Gunn resigned, participated in her last commission meeting on Monday.
Morris was appointed to the District 3 seat in June, but already had decided not to run for the seat in the general election. That gave her about six months on the commission.
The general election was certified Tuesday (Nov. 24), so Monday was her last meeting.
Morris won a round of praise from Executive Director Ed Galligan, as well as commissioners George Barner and Bill McGregor, about her time on the commission. McGregor, who was in Alabama Monday, participated in the meeting via Skype.
Galligan said she demonstrated leadership on the commission and did her job with dignity, class and grace.
“You’ve done some remarkable things in a very short time,” Commissioner McGregor said.
Among her accomplishments were voting to update the state Environmental Policy Act as it relates to the port, and voting to pass a code of conduct policy for the commission.
Steve Segall of Olympia, a resident at Monday’s meeting, also presented her with an award that he called the “porty award.” The award is a small crane that appeared to be painted gold. The crane has a load of logs, while also hoisting a cow into the air, likely a reference to the recent shipment of 1,400 dairy cows that passed through the port on their way to Vietnam.
Galligan interjected that no cows were lifted onto the ship via crane. Instead, trucks backed up to a gangway and the cows were herded onto the ship.
“Thank you for stepping up,” Segall said to Morris about her decision to apply for the interim job. Morris was one of several people who applied for the temporary position.
“It has been my honor and privilege,” Morris said.
Up next is determining who will fill her District 3 seat. E.J. Zita, a faculty member at The Evergreen State College, and Jerry Farmer, co-owner of radio station KRXY 94.5 FM, have been locked in a close race since election night.
The election results were certified Tuesday (Nov. 24) morning. Out of 52,659 votes cast, Zita has captured 26,443 votes to Farmer’s 26,216 votes, a lead of 227 votes. That range is narrow enough to require a machine recount, according to the Secretary of State. Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall has said that a recount would take place the week after Thanksgiving.