Port commission candidate Jerry Farmer took issue “with port critics” who questioned the port’s lack of financial foresight.
Since I was the sole critic at the July 27 meeting, I wish to respond to Mr. Farmer.
Farmer asserts that “hindsight is 20/20”. I would counter that driving blindfolded off a cliff also produces predictable results. The chief reason for the port’s revenue freefall is the bust of the Bakken oil fracking boom. Despite the evident warning signs of an oil bust and curtailment of fracking imports, the port’s management went ahead and based its current 5 year cash flow and capital budget on an increase in this business. This errant forecast is not a random accident, but is an integral part of its deficient financial planning process.
Since the Port of Olympia is facing grave economic challenges, there is a need now, more than ever, for a commission exercising its fiduciary duties using due diligence and critical analysis. What is not needed is emotional boosterism in lieu of critical thinking. In my opinion, Mr. Farmer does not seem up to this task.
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Denis H. Langhans