Letter to the editor: Keep our port strong, non-partisan and independent

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Dear Editor:

We are on the threshold of another election cycle here in Edmonds. I’d like to focus on the Port Commissioner races.

In our opinion, the three incumbents (Steve Johnston, Bruce Faires, and Fred Gouge) have done an outstanding job of managing the port on behalf of the taxpayers and the greater Edmonds/Woodway community they serve. They oversee and sustain the success of our beautiful 5-star marina, port waterfront, and commercial buildings and lands on Port property, generating impressive public profits, which are used to maintain and improve the port public businesses and infrastructure. They have kept our Port District taxes low for the past 10 years, a rare feat for a taxing district these days.

They have built a public asset that grows in value every year and supports more than 800 jobs. They have done this while protecting our waterfront and marsh, and providing us with recreational and tourist amenities, including the Port Walk we all enjoy. The port helps brings tourists and their money to our city and waterfront.

The incumbents are being challenged by candidates that we believe do not fully appreciate the Port’s primary role of bringing economic well-being and vitality to the community. The challengers seem more concerned about making incremental improvements to the condition of the arguably very healthy marsh to the possible detriment of the port’s primary mission—economic development. They and their supporters are now also making the false claim that the port is seeking to resurrect the long-dead Harbor Square redevelopment concept that was withdrawn by the Port in 2013. Reject their false claims and misdirected motives.

We need to keep our port strong, non-partisan, and independent.  A quick look at candidate endorsements reveals that the incumbents have a broad bipartisan base of support consisting of community leaders, business leaders, and residents who understand and appreciate the economic, environmental, and quality of life contributions that the port makes to Edmonds and Woodway every day. The opponents are endorsed primarily by a few special interest and partisan groups.

Please tell all your friends, and let’s get out the vote!  This is an off-year election, which makes every vote even more important.

Thank You!
Ron & Michelle Clyborne

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