Jean Ryckman of Pasco has become the first woman Port of Pasco commissioner.
Port commissioners Jim Klindworth and Ron Reimann unanimously chose Ryckman to fill the District 2 seat Thursday.
She then was sworn in, becoming the first woman to sit on the port district's board.
All six applicants for the position were well qualified, said commissioners and staff.
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Reimann said part of the reason he voted for Ryckman is because he knows she will argue with him. Different viewpoints are important, he said.
"Jean isn't afraid to disagree with me," he said.
In fact, he said when he first met Ryckman, it was to go nose to nose over Franklin PUD rates.
Ryckman, a retired Franklin PUD manager, did an excellent job of explaining things and even started a rate committee for the PUD involving the stakeholders, he said.
Ryckman has been involved in the community and will be a great addition to the port commission, Reimann said.
She said she is looking forward to helping improve the economy.
"I am just excited to be a part of this organization," she said.
Ryckman fills the position left vacant by longtime commissioner Ernie Boston's retirement May 21. He died May 30.
"Ernie left some big shoes to fill, and I am going to do my best," Ryckman said.
She said she started attending port meetings even before Boston's retirement because of her interest in economic development. The port has a great staff, she said.
Ryckman served on the Pasco School Board for eight years. She is a member of the Downtown Pasco Development Authority board, the Pasco School District Citizens' Budget Committee and the Franklin PUD Rate Advisory Committee.
She has been involved with the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau Board, the Pasco Chamber of Commerce and United Way, to name a few.
Port commissioners make $9,600 a year plus $104 per meeting. Commissioners serve a six-year term.
The District 2 seat will be up for election in November 2013. Ryckman said she does plan to run for the seat.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricity herald.com