Politics & Government

Barner wants 2nd term at Olympia port

Longtime Democrat George Barner has announced he is in the running for a second term on the Olympia port commission. He says he's brought more public voice into the port’s activities by adding more public meetings. But he wants to do more to boost economic development.

The latter is not a new song at the port, though Barner may use a different drummer than his predecessors.

Barner's campaign has created a web site here that has his campaign announcement from last week. The announcement says, in part, that he:

[H] e wants to see more collaboration between the Port, local municipalities, the local tribes, and the local Chambers of Commerce to help accomplish various goals for the economic advancement of the county and Port. Examples include rethinking the plan for the Port's North Point and East Bay properties to expand development options and bring in family-wage jobs. He would also like to work with local post-secondary institutions to create an industrial park geared towards fostering the development of green industries in Thurston County, bringing jobs and dollars into the local economy. Barner would also like to see work continue on the cleanup of Budd Inlet and resume discussion of additional dredging of Capitol Lake.

The port commission is a non-partisan board. Barner served four terms as Thurston County commissioner from 1977 to 1993 as a Democrat. He won his campaign for the port in 2007, defeating incumbent Robert Van Schoorl, who had Republican ties, by just under 3,600 votes.

Two years ago, Bill McGregor won re-election to his port seat and labor-allied Jeff Davis beat environmentalist Dave Peeler in a battle between two Democrats to replace Paul Telford. Telford was a former Reform Party activist who retired from his post after pushing for more accountability and public disclosure.