Election letter: Kennewick Port -- Barnes

October 17, 2013 

Election letter: Kennewick Port -- Barnes

I write this letter as an individual taxpayer of the Port of Kennewick district, not as a commissioner. I have had the unique perspective of having worked with both candidates for Port of Kennewick District 1 race -- incumbent Don Barnes and challenger John Givens.

Don Barnes, as a rookie commissioner, has taken on and solved one of the community's longest-battled issues: Vista Field. He did it in a way that didn't result in a tax increase and in a way that included significant public input. He was fiscally accountable and fully transparent.

By contrast, when John Givens was with the port, he steered away from this controversial issue. He did not move it forward to a vote. Simply kicking the can down the road does no one any good, especially not the taxpayers.

I also am concerned that Mr. Givens does not share Don's commitment to public transparency. When the Herald recently requested records relating to the alleged misconduct while Givens was a port employee, he threatened to sue the port commissioners in an attempt to block access to these records. What does that say about his respect for public transparency if he gets elected?

Don Barnes will protect both the public's pocketbook and their right to public information. Join me in voting for Don Barnes.

GENE WAGNER, Kennewick

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