By Rolf Boone, The Olympian:
“Since 2010, the Port of Olympia commission has taken its commission meetings on the road during the summer months, visiting the communities of Yelm, Rainier, Tenino and Bucoda.
But Port of Olympia Commissioner Michelle Morris on Thursday [September 24] questioned whether those gatherings were meeting their original goals. She said the meetings are poorly attended, and there are travel costs associated with setting up meetings in outlying communities.
‘Why do we do it, and is it working?’ she asked the commission during its work session.
Commissioner Bill McGregor said the original goal was to get out to those communities rather than always forcing those residents to travel to Olympia to address the commission.
Commissioner George Barner echoed McGregor’s comments, saying the goal was to ‘establish some rapport with those communities.’
The port has provided grant funds to those communities in the past, so there was an ‘expectation to have interaction with that community,’ Barner added.
Morris suggested some alternatives: A commissioner could attend a council meeting in one of those communities, perhaps as often as monthly. Or port Executive Director Ed Galligan could attend those meetings, she said.”
While I always prefer direct public interaction and have applauded the Port of Olympia holding their meetings in Yelm, Port of Olympia Commissioner Michelle Morris is correct that “the meetings are poorly attended, and there are travel costs associated with setting up meetings in outlying communities.” The Port has to look at the best way to utilize their personnel resources, especially with the reduced revenues in 2015.