Monday, May 20, 2013

The Port of Bellingham Races

The filing date for the Whatcom County candidates has passed. Here is a list of the candidates.  The races I'm particularly interested in this year belong to the Port of Bellingham.  It is entirely possible that vast quantities of funds spent by the Port of Bellingham will do more to redefine our local economy than any other government agency. The Waterfront District development will continue to incur substantive public expenditures, large contractual obligations, and investment risk for some number of years. Thus the leadership and direction of the Port Commission will influence heavily all significant economic and social issues in Bellingham and Whatcom County. There are 75 port districts in WA. Each of these is charged in some way to contribute to local and state economic development.

The Port of Bellingham is no minor economic stage player.  Bellingham and Whatcom County sit strategically between Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, WA., Alaskan, and Asian ports  Through our county passes volumes of cargo, export, energy, rail, trucks and other critical economic trade.  As one example, British Columbia to California export volumes are sometimes recognized as the largest dollar volume state to province trade in economic history. Both Seattle and Vancouver are large and growing cities. We are the West coast I-5 border to Canada, the Alaskan highway linkage, the last North American rail stop, our refineries the end run for Albertan oil pipelines, our county the transit point for BC Hydro exports.  Whatcom County is critical economic infrastructure. 

Given this vast flow of wealth, there really shouldn't be any poverty or want in Whatcom County. Full employment should be the norm, not shuttered, underdeveloped, and vacant downtown office space. There is enough wealth to create a truly prosperous community; a jewel of education, quality of life, and distributed wealth; a cosmopolitan and economic paragon.   I made a reasonable effort to find media linkage for  this year's candidates.. I could only find two candidates who have formal web pages and social media connections.
 (07/14/2013 - I have updated this page with Dan Robbin's links below.) Here are the current port races :

Port of Bellingham  

Commissioner District 1 

Dan Robbins

Renata B Kowalczyk

Commissioner District 2
Mike McAuley

Ken Bell