- Editor’s note: With several Port issues coming to the forefront in recent weeks, I put these questions to the second Port of Olympia (District 2) candidate Bob Iyall, who’s staff reached-out to me. Bob will be on the Nov. 2nd General Election ballot.
- Read more about Bob Iyall.
Port of Olympia Commission candidate Bob Iyall responds to Blogger’s questions
- What is your commitment to the Port?
I. Define and focus the purpose/vision of the port.
II. Review and revise strategic plan, as needed, to focus operations, in a post-pandemic world.
III. Work effectively with local governments to properly accomplish the Port’s stated requirements to heal parts of the local environment.
IV. Build operations on a sound financial basis, maximizing community benefit and minimizing tax-payer support.
- Do you favor an increase in the number of commissioners?
I do. A five-member Commission will bring greater diversity to the Port’s decision-making process. Expanding to five districts will give a voice to those underserved, underrepresented, and forgotten communities that deserve to benefit from Port Services.
- What are your views on the Port’s land ownership/stewardship policies?
The Port has an obligation to create economic development opportunities for Thurston County. I would like to review the criteria the Commission uses when considering real property acquisitions and land use projects. Three criteria I would like to see in the process are:
1) Does the acquisition/land use benefit the community by providing private business opportunities and living wage jobs?
2) Will the acquisition/ land use help to heal or protect the environment?
3) Will the acquisition/land use project increase the burden to taxpayers?
- Have you thought about ways the port can be a partner to every community in our county, not just the largest cities?
The Port of Olympia can and should support private business and agriculture in the outlying communities. The Tenino Agriculture Park is an example of supporting local farmers to raise, harvest, and sell their product. Creating a horizontal supply chain that benefits each link
equally and keeps prices affordable for consumers is key to maintaining the agricultural community.
The Port could use land acquisitions to build business incubators encourage local entrepreneurship and attracting other small businesses to these communities. Creating and attracting private business will increase the market for living wage jobs.
Promoting tourism through agriculture and family events can also benefit these communities.
- I was on the citizen advisory committee for Olympia Regional Airport in 1989-1990. What is your view on developing the airport to attract regional passenger traffic, like Everett’s Paine Field?
It is my understanding that studies done regarding expanding services at the airport, to include commercial and passenger air traffic, have come back with negative results. I’m also told that the residents of Tumwater and South Thurston County are opposed to increased air traffic. That doesn’t change the need for review of services offered to correct the deficit created by Airport operations each year. I am certainly in favor of exploring all options again to ensure best and most efficient use of the facility to support Thurston County.
Read more from Bob Iyall for Port Commissioner.