Election letter -- Port of Kennewick

October 27, 2013 

The much-needed overhaul of the Port of Kennewick will be nearly complete with the upcoming election of two new commissioners. However, voters must select the right candidates, because they will have a huge impact on this community.

The closure of Vista Field Airport will be beneficial in many ways, including improved quality of life and lower taxes for us. Please vote for the candidates with strong managerial skills and public accountability. These commissioners also need to recognize the need to upgrade the port's staff before tackling any major project. Weaknesses within the current staff are reflected in examples such as the public request for the port's travel expenses made two years ago but still not released to the public. Well-run, honest operations normally respond to such requests within days.

Another example: In 2010, when the port decided to keep the airport open, its staff supported that decision by saying the cost to dismantle the airport would cost $2 million more than any revenue derived from the sale of the reclaimed land. However, a recent consultant analysis contradicts those findings, noting that the sale will yield a profit of $4 million.

Such misinformation and errors must not be tolerated by this community.

BOB OGATA

Kennewick

Pasco schools: Christensen

I would like to invite my fellow Pasco citizens to join with me and cast your vote for Steve Christensen, Pasco School Board, Position 3.

I have known Steve for many years, and have observed as he has provided countless hours of service in the Tri-Cities community.

As an engineer, Steve is an intelligent problem-solver. He is a dedicated husband and father, and ever willing to lend a hand to those in need, as shown by his years serving in Scouting and other youth and community programs. He is a forward thinking, competent leader. Having served for more than six years on the Columbia School District Board of Directors, I recognize the need for a candidate like Steve, who will serve with integrity and fairness, while standing for correct principles, always looking with an eye to the future of our children and our society.

I feel that Steve has these important values and that he will represent our community and our children well. Please join with me and vote for Steve Christensen for Pasco School Board, Position 3.

JERRY CARROLL

Pasco

Port of Kennewick: Barnes

I agree with the Herald and strongly recommend Don Barnes for Port of Kennewick commissioner in District 1.

Don is a very bright guy with strong commercial development experience. He spent at least a decade in the '90s overseeing the financing and development of some of the biggest buildings and computers labs on the Battelle campus in Richland.

Now, in one year with the port, he's wasted no time coming up to speed on the most challenging issue, Vista Field, working through it in a fair and reasonable manner, ultimately supporting redevelopment in the best interest of the taxpayers.

Don is a forward-thinking leader, an astute businessman and a fiscally conservative steward of our taxpayer dollars. He brings important project development experience to the port at a time when several major economic projects are being planned. The redevelopment of Vista Field alone will need strong leaders like Don Barnes to get it right.

PETER LAMPSON

Pasco

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