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Elections 2013: Port of Port Angeles, Commissioner District No. 1



Del DelaBarre
• Why are you running?

As a leader in the Olympic Workforce Development Council, I have watched the Port of Port Angeles fail in its mission of environmental stewardship and become dysfunctional and ineffective regarding business and economic development. I know I can make a difference.

 

• Why are you the best candidate for the position?

I have the education and professional experience required to understand the complex issues facing the Port. My management background in the public and private sectors gives me the ability to do something about those issues at the policy level as a Port commissioner. I have successfully owned and operated my own businesses for nearly four decades.

 

• What would you change about the way the Port is now operated?

The organizational meltdown at the Port was not created a month ago and it will not be fixed next month. The culture of the Port fosters a lack of transparency and the expansion of self-interest. Serving the public interest will be my central commitment. I can help create a professional atmosphere within the commission and set standards for the staff that will improve the productivity of the Port. That is what I have done all of my professional life. Frankly, the Port commission needs my experience and expertise.

 

• Do you have any plans regarding John Wayne Marina or other activities on the eastern side of the county?
Sequim Bay has limited tidal flushing capability and is more fragile than the Port Angeles Harbor. As a revenue-based Port activity, the marina is expected to pay its own way; however, lessees tend to think the Port views it as a “cash cow.” The facilities currently available to boat owners should be improved — the marina is an appealing tourist destination.

The marina also must be a good neighbor for Sequim Bay and all those who are vested in its ecological survival, continuing beauty and natural abundance. We must begin now to build partnerships for Sequim Bay’s preservation. The John Wayne Marina, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the City of Sequim, Battelle and the residents all have a significant vested interest in preserving this treasure. I would insist that we take these cooperative steps immediately.

 

 • Do you support the decision to create a position for former Port Executive Director Jeff Robb?
No. The the way this was handled by the Port was very questionable in terms of the public’s interest and the fiduciary responsibility of the commission. The public deserves a better solution.

 

 

Paul McHugh, incumbent
• Why are you running?

I am running to support the Port of Port Angeles efforts as a leader in economic development in Clallam County. I will seek to grow our traditional resource industry base and at the same time work to diversify our local economy with an emphasis on developing business cases and public infrastructure to provide for the creation of living-wage jobs throughout the county.

 

• Why are you the best candidate for the position?

I have lived in Clallam County most of my life. I understand the challenges facing our communities as it relates to economic development and good-paying jobs. We should not be exporting our young Clallam County citizens to the urban parts of the state because of lack of opportunity here. The Port is in position to provide critical leadership and provide the infrastructure to improve our quality of life.

 

• What would you change about the way the Port is now operated?

I support the present Strategic Plan and vision of the Port. I would support a more diversified approach to economic development than presently is in place. We need to broaden our business development strategies beyond just composites.

 

• Do you have any plans regarding John Wayne Marina or other activities on the eastern side of the county?

I would seek to partner with the county and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe to leverage John Wayne Marina for a wider variety of tourism-related events and activities. If a business case can be developed for an Advanced Composite Center, I still believe that a partnership with Battelle and the City of Sequim would be positive for the success of this particular venture.

 

• Do you support the decision to create a position for former Port Executive Director Jeff Robb?

I support the creation of the new Director of Environmental Affairs position and Jeff Robb being selected to fill it. Jeff has led the Port in this important area and is recognized by the Department of Ecology as well as our partners in the cleanup effort as critical to the success of the outcome of this massive project.

 

• Provide a brief biography and describe your experience with the Port.
I graduated from Sequim High School in 1975. I entered the real estate industry at that time. I am a past Sequim City Council person and Park and Recreation District (SARC) commissioner. Currently a commissioner on the Port of Port Angeles board.

Married to Rochelle: two daughters and two grandchildren.

 


Colleen McAleer

• Why are you running?

As the Port’s Director of Business Development, I have seen first-hand the exciting possibilities that can improve the region’s economy. By working with a network of business owners across the state, I realize the economic potential that we can achieve through business diversification and I am driven to act. As a Port commissioner, I know I can have more impact and get important projects completed for our community more quickly and effectively.

 

• Why are you the best candidate for the position?

My private business, military and Port experiences enable me to bring an unparalleled set of skills, vision and experience to this position that my opponents simply can’t match. I understand Port operations and know in detail the financial and legal sides of the Port businesses because of my employment with the Port for the past 20 months. I have had recent, direct involvement with local and state growing businesses and our community partners. I know the opportunities that are right around the bend. I am ready to work with the other commissioners to ensure we win those opportunities. I have the integrity, vision and expertise to make a major difference to our Port and to our community.

 

• What would you change about how the Port is now operated?
I understand that we are in a race to win the jobs of the future and the same old tired ideas and ways of operating aren’t serving us anymore. We have had successes in the past, particularly with Westport, but we need to be proactive in our approach now. I will advocate for a system-wide overhaul of the outdated policies the Port has worked under for decades.

The exceptional staff is chomping at the bit to implement best management practices that will make our Port more efficient, transparent and accountable. This must be a priority. If we don’t have the trust of our citizens, how can we expect to win the trust of a business owner who has so much on the line? We can’t sit back and wait for a new business to show up on our doorstep. Also, we must create a level playing field for our existing businesses so that when they do grow, they choose to do it in our county and not elsewhere.

 

• Do you have any plans regarding John Wayne Marina or other activities on the eastern side of the county?

Each of the eight Port businesses, including John Wayne Marina, should be operated to grow our clientele while maximizing our net income through best management practices. To accomplish that I will advocate for a business plan to be created, as is standard practice in business, that will address services provided, incentives, rate structures, capital improvements and maintenance requirements, to support the needs of our customers so that they are treated as marina customers, not just marina users. The Port can learn from private enterprise in this way.

 

• Do you support the decision to create a position for former Port Executive Director Jeff Robb?
As a citizen and as a candidate for Port commissioner, I expect our commission to live up to our stated values within our Strategic Plan. The Port’s committed values include “an uncompromising commitment to maintaining and engaging the public trust. That commitment relies on expected excellence in ethical comportment for decisions and behavior at all times, while demonstrating consistently high professional standards for honesty and integrity in business … The Port is dedicated to achieving … a high standard of accountability to the stakeholders and taxpayers of the Port District.”

By creating this position for an employee without fully honoring our commitment to transparency, accountability and acceptable hiring practices, I believe our Port commission failed to adhere to our committed values that we are charged to achieve.

 

• Provide a brief biography and describe your experience with the Port.

I served 10 years in the U.S. Army after receiving a full ROTC and academic scholarship to Florida Institute of Technology where I received my B.S. in computer science in 1989. I served in Desert Storm as a young military intelligence officer and later became a U.S. Army aviator. I moved to Sequim in 2002 and worked in the family real estate business as a certified commercial investment member. In November 2011, I accepted the position of marketing and property manager at the Port of Port Angeles and was promoted to director of business development in 2012. I have extensive family in Sequim, including my two teenage boys, Jack and Nicholas.

 

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