Letters to the Editor

Port needs more scrutiny of its fiscal maneuvers

On April 1st, Olympia Port Commissioner Sue Gunn’s coerced resignation became effective. During her short tenure, she stood for environmental and fiscal responsibility in the face of hostile and obstinate opposition. She will be sorely missed.

On April 1st, The Olympian carried a front page story about the port’s newly acquired $3.2 million crane. This crane replaced another boondoggle – the previous marine cranes which had cost the taxpayers millions as well as a $390,000 removal expense. I have observed the faulty business logic of the port’s management. Mr. Galligan and staff utilize an aspirational rather than a reality-based approach to capital investments. They willingly roll the dice to spend millions on capital projects without a reasonable revenue stream to cover these costs. Simply stated, it is magical thinking on their part.

What is not so magical is that the taxpayers are required to cover their mistakes. For example, contrary to their forecast for fiscal 2014, the Port of Olympia once again has consumed the entire $5 million tax levy. April 1st is April Fool’s Day, and we, the taxpayers, evidently are the fools.

Denis H. Langhans