Pledging to keep the momentum at the Port of Edmonds going, Steve Johnston has formally announced he is seeking re-election to the Port of Edmonds Commission.
Johnston has served on the commission since 2016, when he was appointed to fill the at-large position vacated with the retirement of Mary Lou Block. He was elected to the position in 2017.
The five-member Port of Edmonds Commission — elected by voters of the Port District — oversee Executive Director Bob McChesney and staff, who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Port of Edmonds marina and the Harbor Square Business Complex. You can read more about the port’s history in our earlier article here.
Two other candidates have filed for the at-large seat — Selena Killin and Scott Marshall. That means the race will appear on the Aug. 3 primary election ballot, with the top two finishers advancing to the November general election. Candidates for the two other port commission races are running unopposed: Angela Harris, the incumbent for District 1, and Jay Grant for District 3. (District 3 incumbent Bruce Faires isn’t seeking re-election.)
“I am pleased and honored to have the support of many Edmonds and Woodway community leaders and residents,” Johnston said, “and look forward to continuing to advance the interests and values of the community at the port and along our beautiful waterfront.”
Johnston described his work on the commission for the past five years as “an absolute privilege.” During his tenure, Johnston said the commission has “worked hard to enhance the port waterfront and marina, providing an attractive place for people to visit while attracting boaters from all over the Salish Sea region. The Port has also attracted and provides the base for a highly successful whale-watching operation.
“Visitors to our waterfront support Edmonds’ shops and restaurants, creating jobs that benefit the community as a whole,” Johnston added.
Johnston said he is also proud to have helped develop a sound financial plan to assure that the port’s revenues from marina operations and commercial building leases at Harbor Square and the waterfront are sufficient to sustain maintenance and repair of the Port’s facilities, and that reserves have been adequate to permit replacement of “big ticket” items when they fail.
“Our revenues, net income (public profit), and reserves have grown consistently over the past decade, allowing us adequate resources to be applied against significant capital projects planned over the next four years,” he said. Johnston also noted that the port’s commercial and office buildings house businesses that employ more than 500 family-wage jobs, essentially equivalent to a second downtown.
A retired environmental and permitting specialist, Johnston said he is looking forward to applying his expertise in support of two new capital projects the port is undertaking. “We are embarking on the reconstruction of the north seawall, which supports the northern half of the port’s immensely popular portwalk,” he said. “As part of this project, we will be improving and beautifying the portwalk, making it an even more attractive public access amenity. We will also be constructing a new port administrative and maintenance building to LEED standards, removing the old building to make way for enhanced public facilities and access.”
Johnston also said he is proud of the port’s environmental record. “We remain an environmental leader among public ports and within the community,” he said, adding that the port has invested several million dollars in environmentally friendly improvements at Harbor Square.
For additional information, visit www.stevejohnstonforport.com.