Re: Rolf Boone’s May 9 article, “Former Olympia mayor to port: Begin shutting down marine terminal”
As a long time resident of Olympia who has been involved with the maritime industry for most of my life, I took umbrage with former mayor Bob Jacobs’ short-sighted comments about the Port of Olympia’s marine terminal.
I found myself questioning his motives and agenda because he failed to mention the positive financial ripple affect the port has on our community.
The following information I found online is dated but nonetheless telling.
According to the 2009 Economic Impact Study, the income levels generated by the port and its tenants equate to 3,043 direct jobs, 1,390 induced jobs and 2,816 indirect jobs. There are a total of 7,249 jobs generated by port activity. The report also stated the activities at the port generated $350.7 million in wages, salaries and local consumption to the local and regional economy.
The staffing numbers don’t include the members of the ILWU Local 47 who earn their living at the marine terminal.
Won’t shutting down the marine terminal for recreation and tourism replace family wage jobs with lower wage service ones? Why would anyone want this?
Can the port improve? Obviously it can and does. Its staff constantly improves systems and to market itself to attract cargoes such as cattle and organic corn. Like all business enterprises, its volumes and revenues ebb and flow with the economy so pointing out shortfalls without comparing performance with similar ports is disingenuous.