Doug Karlberg announces for Port

Permalink +

Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 5:38 pm  //  Guest writer

Doug Karlberg, Candidate for Port of Bellingham Commissioner, District 2
Doug Karlberg has submitted his announcement of candidancy for Commissioner of the Port of Bellingham.
----

Wanna change course at the Port of Bellingham?

This potential course change is why I am announcing my candidacy for Port of Bellingham Commissioner, District 2, currently held by Commissioner Doug Smith.

The Port’s direction is controlled by three Commissioners, and two of them, a majority, are up for re-election this fall. Vote in two new Commissioners, and you have a guaranteed course change.

This would be my course, if elected.

- Require all Port employees treat your hard earned tax dollars, with respect.
- Cut costs and generate real Operating Profits, not losses. Cuts begin at the top.
- Wean the Port off of the property taxes in eight years. Lowering property taxes.
- Require a Performance Audit on the Port of Bellingham.
- Revaluate the economic basis for the waterfront development.
- Reconsider the wisdom, and cost of the new Marina, considering how few jobs this really creates, and how a large yacht parking lot, benefits few residents of Whatcom County.
- Reconsider the use of the planned Marina to dispose of polluted waste, saving the taxpayer tens of millions in the process. Adding this land to the tax roll.
- Sincerely listen to the local ideas for the Waterfront. They are paying for it.
- Eliminate most of the outside consultants.
- Any significant increase in debt or taxes for the waterfront will require a vote of the public, to certify broad public support.
- Continue the cleanup of the waterfront, preferably using local labor, when possible and cost effective.
- Refocus the on the basics, of operating a Port, and not real estate development.
- Refocus the Port on creating durable, family wage, tax paying jobs, available to local residents. Now!
- Enter into a full, honest partnership with the City in developing the Waterfront.
- Remain flexible in developing the Waterfront, as the future unfolds.
- Develop the Waterfront slowly as customers with real money materialize.
- Create an incubator for new businesses, for future growth.
- Create opportunities for our kids to find work locally.
- Work with current Port customers to create more jobs.
- Treat all Port customers fairly. No special treatment.

What went wrong at the Port.

The Port, with scant prior experience, is now in the real estate development business.

The Port, based the Waterfront Redevelopment on a single idea. The waterfront land would be worth a lot of money, when the Port sells it. The real estate bubble was illusionary, and has burst. Their plan is now obsolete and cannot work without a subsidy.

The Port wants the City to put up most of the money to build roads, bridges, and utilities. Then the Port wants to locate non-tax paying entities on the Waterfront, and exempt them from impact fees. This is a shell game that the Port currently controls. The higher the subsidy, the higher the value of the land, but the Port puts up none of the subsidy. The taxpayers of the City and County do, and the Port pockets the profits. Any one can sell land with a taxpayer subsidy.

Everett has a similar project, and here is the Everett Herald’s view.
Nobody said it was going to come cheaply.
By David Chircop / Everett Herald Writer - May 3, 2007

But the price is still climbing for Everett's planned riverfront district of trendy shops and condos. Based on rough estimates, the bill is edging close to $100 million of public money on the slice of former industrial land along the Snohomish River.

The two-mile-long former mill site and dump is falling into private hands for a fraction of that figure - just $8 million.

A financial study conducted by Berk & Associates of Seattle predicts sales and business taxes will recoup the cost of what still needs to be done in five to 30 years. However, the financial projection does not take into consideration money ($100 million), already spent.
This is a failed plan, which the current Port leaders cannot admit. Instead we see defensiveness, arrogance, and a stubborn refusal to see the serious concerns, which are apparent to the public. All fueled with debt, that we co-sign with our property taxes.

The Port has sued the City, refused to attend meetings, squashed a Citizens Initiative, sent childish letters of complaint to important public funding officials, and now is resorting to circumventing the public process altogether.

The Port is in denial, and out of control. When elected officials are afraid of the ballot box, it is time for change. There is no excuse for this behavior.

Port spending has been out of control spending for decades now. The best financial measure of a Port’s spending controls is a Port’s Operating Margin. The Port of Bellingham has averaged a negative 24% for the last eleven years; over $30 million dollars lost. A worse record, I cannot find.

Recent Port statement: “In 2009, the Port will strive for a 10% increase in operating income.”

This statement by the Port misleads the public into believing that the Port has Operating Profits, which it clearly does not, and has not, for over a decade.

For far too long, public port authorities have operated behind closed doors without any real oversight or accountability. It is time to change this.

The Change I will bring to the Port

The Port has a unique ability to shape our County’s economic future. Most major cities on the coast are ports. This is not an accident. This is the economic power of a port. I would not blockade our own port with condos. The future is difficult to predict accurately. We may need a working port in the future.

Our economy needs good paying durable, and tax paying jobs; Now! This is the key to reviving our local economy. Quit planning thirty years out, and focus on our immediate problems, which are jobs. Parking lots for yachts, luxury condos, retail, and tourist jobs produce very little durable benefit to Whatcom County and its’ taxpayers. It is time to refocus on the broad needs of our community.

The taxpayer deserves honesty, integrity, transparency, and above all loyalty. I understand this.

One last issue. Listening is vitally important. Many dedicated folks apply themselves to solving our community’s problems. I can’t out-think hundreds of people. They do this for free, which I really like. Listening to them is simple respect, and it guarantees that we move forward with the best ideas, not my ideas. Thank you for listening, to me.

I am a lifelong resident of Whatcom County, currently living in Lynden. I have been a commercial fisherman for 37 years.

This where I stand. I would appreciate your vote.

Remember that we need votes for two new Commissioners, to ensure change. Please consider Mr. Hayes for Port Commissioner, District 1.

Larry Horowitz  //  Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 6:13 pm

Congratulations and good luck, Doug!

You have my unwavering support.


Tip Johnson  //  Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 6:41 pm

Imagine, a real Port with real jobs! Woohoo! Thanks for runing, Doug.

It is definitely time to vote the incumbents out.  Their plan to convert the G-P lagoon to a marina could be as disastrous as blockading the port with condos.  Neither big yachts nor upscale condos are still a realistic economic model.  We need to restore productivity in our local economy.  The Port is uniquely able to assist that effort.  The current commission and staff won’t even try.

I know that discussion of the G-P lagoon has vacillated between a marina and a repository for contaminated sediments.  However, a third possibility is to retain it for its original purpose - water treatment.

A sixty inch industrial water line to the Central Waterfront becomes useless without the lagoon to receive its volume.  The water supply and lagoon should be valuable assets for recruiting family wage jobs.

Besides industrial treatment, the lagoon could receive much of Bellingham’s urban stormwater runoff, and pick up the combined sewer overflows that are currently dumped straight into the bay from the C-Street pump station, just a couple blocks away.

By preserving the lagoon for water treatment, we retain the opportunity to cultivate family wage jobs, while protecting our nearshore habitat from harmful shoreline discharges.  Water treatment is the key to restoring our bay’s health and protecting our restoration investments from future contamination.

The Port is on record refusing to consider these potentials for the lagoon.  They purposely included the marina in the No-Action alternative of the waterfront environmental review to avoid these questions.  Wrecking the lagoon and wasting the water supply could be on of the biggest rip-offs in Bellingham’s history.  Replacing that capacity would cost untold millions.

Doug, I hope you’ll consider this, and keeping the waterfront public, once elected!

AS of this writing, I heartily endorse both you and Ham.  Vote the rascals out!


Doug Karlberg announces for Port

Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 5:38 pm  //  Guest writer

Doug Karlberg has submitted his announcement of candidancy for Commissioner of the Port of Bellingham.
----

Wanna change course at the Port of Bellingham?

This potential cour

2 comments; last on Apr 29, 2009

The Ethics of Power

Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 1:10 am  //  Craig Mayberry

Anytime you are in a position of power you have increased responsibilities to be ethical. We often criticize large corporations for giving large amounts of money to politicians…

2 comments; last on Apr 29, 2009

Village Books

In historic Fairhaven. Take Exit 250 from I-5.

Some Piggies More Equal Than Others

Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 9:21 pm  //  g.h.kirsch

Congressional correspondent Susan Ferrechio reports passing cap & trade legislation is business as usual in Washington, not always pretty to watch.

"In exchange for votes to pass a controversia

0 comments

The Mayor’s Statement in the Herald

Sun, Apr 26, 2009, 12:19 pm  //  John Servais

Dan Pike's guest editorial in Sunday's Herald is a direct result of an article on NwCitizen earlier this week. Indeed, on Wednesday, after the article had only been…

3 comments; last on May 21, 2009

Watching the Space Station

Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 8:04 pm  //  John Servais

We expect to have clear or almost clear skies at dawn for the next few days. And, as chance would have it, the ISS - International Space Station…

1 comments; last on Apr 24, 2009

Update on Port & Council Public Process

Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 2:25 am  //  Ham Hayes

Posted Thursday, April 23, 11:25 pm

This last Wednesday I reported my observations of the Monday, April 20 joint Port-City Council meeting. I expressed my concern that some council…

7 comments; last on Apr 24, 2009

Osgood Wonders

Wed, Apr 22, 2009, 12:38 am  //  g.h.kirsch

Evidencing the emerging understanding that not all is right with the theories of global warming doomsayers, the completely mainstream Charles Osgood offers this in support of skeptics backing…

4 comments; last on Apr 22, 2009

Global Warming Warnings

Sun, Apr 19, 2009, 4:54 pm  //  g.h.kirsch

As we race towards a future fraught with economic and environmental uncertainty; and as global forces pull at our cherished freedoms and political institutions, at the risk of…

5 comments; last on Apr 20, 2009

Nader Counterpunches

Fri, Apr 17, 2009, 6:52 pm  //  g.h.kirsch

The eternally committed Ralph Nader continues to follow and speak frankly about the affairs important to average Americans.

In an article today at Counterpunch, The Greedsters

2 comments; last on Apr 18, 2009

It’s Tea Time

Wed, Apr 15, 2009, 12:48 am  //  Craig Mayberry

A few weeks ago Pres. Obama went on his economic town hall tour and suggested that we would have to spend money to fix health care, education and…

1 comments; last on Apr 15, 2009

Candidates, Campaigns & Confabs

Tue, Apr 14, 2009, 4:44 pm  //  John Servais

Political commentary serves very legitimate purposes. By exposing the behind the scenes maneuvers of political operatives, it helps citizens and potential candidates to question motives and ag

2 comments; last on Apr 15, 2009

She Said He Said

Tue, Apr 14, 2009, 3:58 am  //  g.h.kirsch

Mark Russell used to joke, “If you call your opponent a politician, it's grounds for libel.”

But I must admit I was amazed as the minions of the McShane…

7 comments; last on May 21, 2009

Divesting Fairhaven Highlands: An open letter to Tim Stewart, Bellingham Director of Planning

Fri, Apr 10, 2009, 9:41 am  //  Larry Horowitz

Dear Director Stewart:

As I write this letter, I am reminded of a comment by a former planning department staffer who claimed he knew he had done his job…

2 comments; last on Apr 11, 2009

Where It’s Not The Prices That Take A Beating

Mon, Apr 06, 2009, 2:11 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Note: This post largely follows a letter sent to the City Council and Mayor on March 20th. I have provided th

7 comments; last on Apr 14, 2009

Preserving Farmland

Sun, Apr 05, 2009, 9:59 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

This week a study suggested that one of the most important issues in Whatcom County is the preservation of farmland. The Whatcom County Council has talked for years…

1 comments; last on Apr 28, 2009

Draft McShane ???

Sat, Apr 04, 2009, 7:58 pm  //  g.h.kirsch

Remember when Tricky Dick told reporters in California, “You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore.”

Remember when Dan McShane told us, after a brutally negative campaign for…

2 comments; last on Apr 10, 2009

Opinion for hire: Part 2 - Admission of errors

Sat, Apr 04, 2009, 12:30 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

On February 20th, I wrote a column about the Chuckanut Ridge / Fairhaven Highlands mature forested wetlands and the failure of Horizon Bank’s wetland consultant to properly rate…

4 comments; last on Apr 06, 2009

March 2009 Temperatures for Bellingham

Thu, Apr 02, 2009, 10:57 pm  //  John Servais

Bill McCallum has sent us the temperature graph for March. As he notes:

While March 2009 had the same number of days with temperatures above normal, 4 of them,…

3 comments; last on Apr 04, 2009

 

Election Info

Candidate Filings


Whatcom Auditor

Coal, Oil & Trains

Community Wise Bellingham

Powder River Basin R. C.

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Cascadia Weekly
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
KGMI
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
MikeatthePort
Northern Light

Twilight Zoning
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Chuckanut Community Forest

City Club of Bellingham
Conservation NW
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lake Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
RE Sources
Reduce Jet Noise
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters

Governments

Bellingham

Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom County

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Climate Audit
NW Radar
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate

Leisure

Adventures NW

Edge of Sports
Entertainment NNW
Famous Internet Skiers
Recreation Northwest
Sailing Anarchy

Good Web Sites

Al-Jazeera online

Alaska Dispatch
AlterNet.org
Antiwar.com
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The

Common Dreams
counterpunch
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Doonesbury
Drudge Report
FiveThirtyEight
Foreign Policy in Focus
GlobalPost
Guardian Unlimited
Gulf News
Haaretz
Huffington Post
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
MoveOn.org
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
NMFA
numbers
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Reuters
Sea Shepherd
Slate
Stand for the Troops
Talking Points Memo
TED
The Crisis Papers
the Oatmeal
Tom Paine.com
truthout
Vox
War and Piece
Washington Votes
WikiLeaks.ch
ynetnews.com

NwCitizen 1995 - 2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Police Activity

Bellingham Register
Bob Sanders
Carl Weimer
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizen Ted
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
David Hackworth
Facebook Port Reform
HamsterTalk
Jack Petree
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Orcinus
Post-Oklahoman Confessions
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph
Wally Wonders