Letters to the Editor

Port moved to silence its watchdog, Sue Gunn

This letter is in response to Commissioner Bill McGregor’s refusal effective Feb. 17 to excuse elected Commissioner Sue Gunn’s absence from Olympia Port Commission meetings. Dr. Gunn is recovering from complex open-heart surgery. By refusing to excuse her absence for 60 days the port could legally appoint an unelected replacement.

About a year ago I began to attend every public Port Commission meeting including the ones that are not televised. This is frankly more of the same kind of treatment Gunn has received in the past year as the only voice that speaks for the taxpayers, ordinary people, our environment and the future welfare of our children and community.

I have no confidence that the port is using our hard earned tax dollars to benefit average citizens. Instead, it continues to support people with yachts, people with airplanes, the exporting of unmilled timber to Asia and the importing of Asian manufactured proppants essential for fracking explosive Bakken oil. My experience of the port public meetings without Gunn present is of a closed, secretive bureaucracy from which important information does not escape. Under the tutelage of port attorney Heather Burgess, only the legally essential and necessary pieces of the elusive big picture of what is really going on at the port ever see the light of day in public meetings. Those pieces are not enough to give the citizens a true picture of how their $5 million annual tax levy is spent.

Beverly Bassett