Election letter -- Kennewick port: Barnes

November 2, 2013 

John Givens claims to have more experience at the Port of Kennewick than anyone. The wrong kind of experience can be a bad thing. When Givens was director of the port, commissioners saddled the public with a multi-million dollar "industrial development district" tax, without a vote by the public. It took a new port commission to get this tax killed.

Givens also was director when the port wasted millions on studies of how to fill the river to make Clover Island bigger. That money went into the pockets of out-or-town consultants, not for actual work. Federal, state and local agencies said a project such as that would never be permitted. Yet the port kept spending. Again it took a new commission to "kill the fill."

And now Givens claims credit for "purchasing Metz marina" from my family. In reality he tried to force us off the island without paying us fair compensation. We had to go to court (and win) to get a fair settlement.

If that's his idea of "experience," I don't want it.

Incumbent Don Barnes stands in contrast to Givens. Don voted to close the little-used Vista Field airport rather than expand, saving a $43 million tax increase. His decision will save taxpayers almost $400,000 annually, each and every year. He made his decision in the best public interest, not his own. Now that's experience we need.

KAY P. METZ, Pasco

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