Port of Olympia District 3

League of Women Voters candidate forum.

Amy Evans

Amy Evans

Raised: $47,764

Spent: $23,604

Campaign information: WebsiteFacebook

 Full list of contributions and expenditures.

What does the Port of Olympia do that directly benefits Thurston County residents who pay more than $6 million annually for its operations? What should it be doing that it is not doing already, or not doing in order to save money?

The Port’s mission is economic development. The Port’s marine terminal connects Thurston County via sea providing commerce opportunities and creates solid, family wage jobs for Longshoreman.  The Port brings tourism to the area with Swantown marina and fuel dock, supporting restaurants, shops, and other small businesses.  The Port provides emergency and recreational connections via air with the Olympia Regional Airport and has the potential for commuter service that could provide transportation options beyond I-5.  (Electric planes and biofuels are even on the horizon!)  And, as far as what the Port could be doing better, if the Port was utilizing its real estate assets to generate additional revenues, those could be used for additional environmental remediation and public access projects.  

Would you support a property tax increase for the Port? Why or why not?

Not at this time.  The Port’s unique ability to generate revenue in the private sector allows it to expand its impact on the community by generating more revenue.  By leasing the Port’s real estate assets, it is putting tax payer’s investments to work, to do more for ALL of Thurston County.

Relationships among the Port of Olympia commissioners over the past eight years could be described as fractious. If elected, what do you personally plan to do to ensure that commissioners treat each other with dignity and respect?

Extending trust and kindness to my fellow commissioners and those citizens who participate in public process.  Telling the truth.  Expecting a conflict of ideas and also expecting a respect for those conflicts.  

Current Port commissioners have declined to take a position on any of the options regarding the future of Capitol Lake: No action, return to an estuary, managing the lake to restore recreational and other uses, or a hybrid approach. Which alternative do you favor and why? What challenges do you see presented by the alternative you chose?

I believe we must prepare for the option the State of Washington chooses and at this point, it looks like there is the most support for the Estuary Option.  If this is the case, we must identify a plan for sediment management and dredging to ensure the working waterfront coexists with the estuary.  If we can overcome a fear of uncertainty there are many areas of alignment that will promote improved water quality, recreation, emergency preparedness, industry, and tourism.

What responsibility does the Port have in working with other local governments in addressing the county’s need for housing for unhoused/marginally housed individuals? Would you be willing to lease Port land to a non-profit for use as a site for motorhomes or a site similar to the mitigation site in downtown Olympia?

Given the Port’s limited scope as defined in RCW, it does not have the ability to utilize its properties for any purpose.  The use must be in keeping with its mission and scope of duties.  I think the Port can be a partner in solutions that will create a more healthy, safe community for all of Thurston County.  The utilization of Port lands will need to meet the requirements of the FAA in Tumwater and the RCWs in Lacey and/or Olympia.  I will continue to further the mission of the Port, while limiting the scope of action to that which Ports were designated for\

Joel Hansen

Raised: $48,779

Spent: $45,754

Campaign information: WebsiteFacebook

Full list of contributions and expenditures.

What does the Port of Olympia do that directly benefits Thurston County residents who pay more than $6 million annually for its operations? What should it be doing that it is not doing already, or not doing in order to save money?

This is a question that I hear from voters when I’m out doorbelling and it comes down to equity.  Everyone in Thurston County is paying taxes to the Port, either directly or indirectly, but most of our community members don’t understand what their return on investment is.

Some things that I will work to move forward at the Port are: supporting our rural economies through investments in local agricultural infrastructure, extending fast affordable internet access to all of Thurston County with broadband, and developing clean energy projects that save financial resources and also make real progress toward the goals of the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan as well.

Would you support a property tax increase for the Port? Why or why not?

No, I believe that the Port can increase revenue from operations, increase efficiencies, and operate without a tax increase.

Relationships among the Port of Olympia commissioners over the past eight years could be described as fractious. If elected, what do you personally plan to do to ensure that commissioners treat each other with dignity and respect?

I pledge to work in good faith and with dignity and respect with all parties, Commissioners, staff, and community members.  I have a long history of working on boards and commissions in our community and I think I have demonstrated that I can work with anyone.

 Current Port commissioners have declined to take a position on any of the options regarding the future of Capitol Lake: No action, return to an estuary, managing the lake to restore recreational and other uses, or a hybrid approach. Which alternative do you favor and why? What challenges do you see presented by the alternative you chose?

The science tells us that in order to make progress in restoring the health of Budd Inlet the 5th Avenue dam must be removed, the only question that I have is when will we amass the political will to do it and how will we manage the realities created by its removal.  I think we need to take a watershed level approach and a good start would be the formation of a Deschutes Watershed Council to include all the effected stakeholders.

What responsibility does the Port have in working with other local governments in addressing the county’s need for housing for unhoused/marginally housed individuals? Would you be willing to lease Port land to a non-profit for use as a site for motorhomes or a site similar to the mitigation site in downtown Olympia?

The Port absolutely has a responsibility to work with regional partners toward solutions to our shared problems including our need for housing for our community members.   I would be willing to lease Port land as one part of the solution.  Other solutions would include providing land for low income housing and workforce housing as well as working to increase participation in apprenticeship programs to fill the need for skilled tradespeople in the construction industry.

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By Mindy Chambers

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