Doug Karlberg announces for PortPermalink +
Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 5:38 pm // Guest writer
Wanna change course at the Port of Bellingham?
This potential course change is why I am announcing my candidacy for Port of Bellingham Commissioner, District 2, currently held by Commissioner Doug Smith.
The Port’s direction is controlled by three Commissioners, and two of them, a majority, are up for re-election this fall. Vote in two new Commissioners, and you have a guaranteed course change.
This would be my course, if elected.
- Require all Port employees treat your hard earned tax dollars, with respect.
- Cut costs and generate real Operating Profits, not losses. Cuts begin at the top.
- Wean the Port off of the property taxes in eight years. Lowering property taxes.
- Require a Performance Audit on the Port of Bellingham.
- Revaluate the economic basis for the waterfront development.
- Reconsider the wisdom, and cost of the new Marina, considering how few jobs this really creates, and how a large yacht parking lot, benefits few residents of Whatcom County.
- Reconsider the use of the planned Marina to dispose of polluted waste, saving the taxpayer tens of millions in the process. Adding this land to the tax roll.
- Sincerely listen to the local ideas for the Waterfront. They are paying for it.
- Eliminate most of the outside consultants.
- Any significant increase in debt or taxes for the waterfront will require a vote of the public, to certify broad public support.
- Continue the cleanup of the waterfront, preferably using local labor, when possible and cost effective.
- Refocus the on the basics, of operating a Port, and not real estate development.
- Refocus the Port on creating durable, family wage, tax paying jobs, available to local residents. Now!
- Enter into a full, honest partnership with the City in developing the Waterfront.
- Remain flexible in developing the Waterfront, as the future unfolds.
- Develop the Waterfront slowly as customers with real money materialize.
- Create an incubator for new businesses, for future growth.
- Create opportunities for our kids to find work locally.
- Work with current Port customers to create more jobs.
- Treat all Port customers fairly. No special treatment.
What went wrong at the Port.
The Port, with scant prior experience, is now in the real estate development business.
The Port, based the Waterfront Redevelopment on a single idea. The waterfront land would be worth a lot of money, when the Port sells it. The real estate bubble was illusionary, and has burst. Their plan is now obsolete and cannot work without a subsidy.
The Port wants the City to put up most of the money to build roads, bridges, and utilities. Then the Port wants to locate non-tax paying entities on the Waterfront, and exempt them from impact fees. This is a shell game that the Port currently controls. The higher the subsidy, the higher the value of the land, but the Port puts up none of the subsidy. The taxpayers of the City and County do, and the Port pockets the profits. Any one can sell land with a taxpayer subsidy.
Everett has a similar project, and here is the Everett Herald’s view.
Nobody said it was going to come cheaply.This is a failed plan, which the current Port leaders cannot admit. Instead we see defensiveness, arrogance, and a stubborn refusal to see the serious concerns, which are apparent to the public. All fueled with debt, that we co-sign with our property taxes.
By David Chircop / Everett Herald Writer - May 3, 2007
But the price is still climbing for Everett's planned riverfront district of trendy shops and condos. Based on rough estimates, the bill is edging close to $100 million of public money on the slice of former industrial land along the Snohomish River.
The two-mile-long former mill site and dump is falling into private hands for a fraction of that figure - just $8 million.
A financial study conducted by Berk & Associates of Seattle predicts sales and business taxes will recoup the cost of what still needs to be done in five to 30 years. However, the financial projection does not take into consideration money ($100 million), already spent.
The Port has sued the City, refused to attend meetings, squashed a Citizens Initiative, sent childish letters of complaint to important public funding officials, and now is resorting to circumventing the public process altogether.
The Port is in denial, and out of control. When elected officials are afraid of the ballot box, it is time for change. There is no excuse for this behavior.
Port spending has been out of control spending for decades now. The best financial measure of a Port’s spending controls is a Port’s Operating Margin. The Port of Bellingham has averaged a negative 24% for the last eleven years; over $30 million dollars lost. A worse record, I cannot find.
Recent Port statement: “In 2009, the Port will strive for a 10% increase in operating income.”
This statement by the Port misleads the public into believing that the Port has Operating Profits, which it clearly does not, and has not, for over a decade.
For far too long, public port authorities have operated behind closed doors without any real oversight or accountability. It is time to change this.
The Change I will bring to the Port
The Port has a unique ability to shape our County’s economic future. Most major cities on the coast are ports. This is not an accident. This is the economic power of a port. I would not blockade our own port with condos. The future is difficult to predict accurately. We may need a working port in the future.
Our economy needs good paying durable, and tax paying jobs; Now! This is the key to reviving our local economy. Quit planning thirty years out, and focus on our immediate problems, which are jobs. Parking lots for yachts, luxury condos, retail, and tourist jobs produce very little durable benefit to Whatcom County and its’ taxpayers. It is time to refocus on the broad needs of our community.
The taxpayer deserves honesty, integrity, transparency, and above all loyalty. I understand this.
One last issue. Listening is vitally important. Many dedicated folks apply themselves to solving our community’s problems. I can’t out-think hundreds of people. They do this for free, which I really like. Listening to them is simple respect, and it guarantees that we move forward with the best ideas, not my ideas. Thank you for listening, to me.
I am a lifelong resident of Whatcom County, currently living in Lynden. I have been a commercial fisherman for 37 years.
This where I stand. I would appreciate your vote.
Remember that we need votes for two new Commissioners, to ensure change. Please consider Mr. Hayes for Port Commissioner, District 1.
Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 5:38 pm // Guest writerDoug Karlberg has submitted his announcement of candidancy for Commissioner of the Port of Bellingham.
Wanna change course at the Port of Bellingham?
This potential cour
2 comments; last on Apr 29, 2009
Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 1:10 am // Craig MayberryAnytime you are in a position of power you have increased responsibilities to be ethical. We often criticize large corporations for giving large amounts of money to politicians…
2 comments; last on Apr 29, 2009
Paper Dreams in Fairhaven
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 9:21 pm // g.h.kirschCongressional correspondent Susan Ferrechio reports passing cap & trade legislation is business as usual in Washington, not always pretty to watch.
"In exchange for votes to pass a controversia
Sun, Apr 26, 2009, 12:19 pm // John ServaisDan Pike's guest editorial in Sunday's Herald is a direct result of an article on NwCitizen earlier this week. Indeed, on Wednesday, after the article had only been…
3 comments; last on May 21, 2009
Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 8:04 pm // John ServaisWe expect to have clear or almost clear skies at dawn for the next few days. And, as chance would have it, the ISS - International Space Station…
1 comments; last on Apr 24, 2009
Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 2:25 am // Ham HayesPosted Thursday, April 23, 11:25 pm
This last Wednesday I reported my observations of the Monday, April 20 joint Port-City Council meeting. I expressed my concern that some council…
7 comments; last on Apr 24, 2009
Wed, Apr 22, 2009, 12:38 am // g.h.kirschEvidencing the emerging understanding that not all is right with the theories of global warming doomsayers, the completely mainstream Charles Osgood offers this in support of skeptics backing…
4 comments; last on Apr 22, 2009
Sun, Apr 19, 2009, 4:54 pm // g.h.kirschAs we race towards a future fraught with economic and environmental uncertainty; and as global forces pull at our cherished freedoms and political institutions, at the risk of…
5 comments; last on Apr 20, 2009
Fri, Apr 17, 2009, 6:52 pm // g.h.kirschThe eternally committed Ralph Nader continues to follow and speak frankly about the affairs important to average Americans.
In an article today at Counterpunch, The Greedsters
2 comments; last on Apr 18, 2009
Wed, Apr 15, 2009, 12:48 am // Craig MayberryA few weeks ago Pres. Obama went on his economic town hall tour and suggested that we would have to spend money to fix health care, education and…
1 comments; last on Apr 15, 2009
Tue, Apr 14, 2009, 4:44 pm // John ServaisPolitical commentary serves very legitimate purposes. By exposing the behind the scenes maneuvers of political operatives, it helps citizens and potential candidates to question motives and ag
2 comments; last on Apr 15, 2009
Tue, Apr 14, 2009, 3:58 am // g.h.kirschMark Russell used to joke, “If you call your opponent a politician, it's grounds for libel.”
But I must admit I was amazed as the minions of the McShane…
7 comments; last on May 21, 2009
Fri, Apr 10, 2009, 9:41 am // Larry HorowitzDear Director Stewart:
As I write this letter, I am reminded of a comment by a former planning department staffer who claimed he knew he had done his job…
2 comments; last on Apr 11, 2009
Mon, Apr 06, 2009, 2:11 pm // Tip JohnsonNote: This post largely follows a letter sent to the City Council and Mayor on March 20th. I have provided th
7 comments; last on Apr 14, 2009
Sun, Apr 05, 2009, 9:59 pm // Craig MayberryThis week a study suggested that one of the most important issues in Whatcom County is the preservation of farmland. The Whatcom County Council has talked for years…
1 comments; last on Apr 28, 2009
Sat, Apr 04, 2009, 7:58 pm // g.h.kirschRemember when Tricky Dick told reporters in California, “You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore.”
Remember when Dan McShane told us, after a brutally negative campaign for…
2 comments; last on Apr 10, 2009
Sat, Apr 04, 2009, 12:30 pm // Larry HorowitzOn February 20th, I wrote a column about the Chuckanut Ridge / Fairhaven Highlands mature forested wetlands and the failure of Horizon Bank’s wetland consultant to properly rate…
4 comments; last on Apr 06, 2009
Thu, Apr 02, 2009, 10:57 pm // John ServaisBill McCallum has sent us the temperature graph for March. As he notes:
While March 2009 had the same number of days with temperatures above normal, 4 of them,…
3 comments; last on Apr 04, 2009
Election InfoCandidate Filings
Primary election results
Coal, Oil & TrainsCommunity Wise Bellingham
Powder River Basin R. C.
Local Blogs & NewsBellingham Herald
Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
League of Women Voters
Western Front - WWU
Local CausesChuckanut Community Forest
City Club of Bellingham
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
Reduce Jet Noise
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
WA Conservation Voters
Port of Bellingham
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Weather & ClimateCliff Mass Weather Blog
Nat Hurricane Center
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate
Edge of Sports
Famous Internet Skiers
Good Web SitesAl-Jazeera online
Foreign Policy in Focus
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Middle East Times
New American Century
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Project Vote Smart
Stand for the Troops
Talking Points Memo
The Crisis Papers
War and Piece
NwCitizen 1995 - 2007Early Northwest Citizen
Quiet, Offline or DeadBellingham Police Activity
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
Facebook Port Reform
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph