I met Don Barnes 30 years ago, when he was a youthful project manager for a development my bank was financing.
Rarely had I interacted with an individual who possessed such a high degree of competence, but more importantly, integrity. This was during tough economic times when the Tri-Cities were reeling from the Washington Public Power Supply System default and the N Reactor shutdown, and many investors were fleeing.
Don was among a handful of locals who believed in the long-term potential of this area and were willing to forge ahead with plans to rise above the current economic woes. His character impressed me as ultimately loyal, enthusiastic and trustworthy down to the last penny.
Last year, I wrote a letter to the port, recommending Don for appointment to the open commission seat. As the port moves forward with major development projects in the face of a challenging, fluctuating economy, it will take strong, steady leadership to grasp these opportunities and guide development in ways to provide lasting benefit to our community.
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I am very confident in Don's ability to make wise decisions as commissioner and encourage you to join me in voting to retain Don Barnes.
BUD RUSSELL, Kennewick