Charlie Sheldon resigns as Port Director

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Charlie Sheldon resigned as executive director of the Port of Bellingham this morning. He has been under irresponsible harrassment for several weeks by Port Commissioner Scott Walker. While the other two commissioners continued to support Charlie, he has apparently decided it is not worth it. We have yet to talk with him.

This is a real tragedy for making any progress with the Port of Bellingham and all the issues that surround the Port. Charlie was hired 19 months ago with great positive comments from all three commissioners - including Scott Walker. The criticism by Scott has never made sense to me. Scott has never given any real reasons for his turnabout. My guess is he did not like losing control of the commissioners after Mike McAuley was elected.

Charlie is a huge loss for our community. He came from the Port of Seattle and brought new openess to new ideas and a skilled administrative process. We were lucky he decided to come to our small community. And now we have allowed him to be trashed and he will leave. We, as a community, have a bad habit of shooting ourselves in the foot every time we get something good going.

I've a suggestion for 21-year-commissioner Walker: Give this community a full explanation of your behavior regarding Charlie. Skip the spendthrift noise unless you want us to look at your junkets and the junkets you have supported for Port managers for 20 years.

Scott has told friends he will not run again for commissioner in 2013. So why in hell is he raising a stink when he is leaving? This is a sad day for our community.

And a question for Walker: Why in hell did the Port not support the costs of the fire boat? Why in hell should the city be responsible for protecting the docks and boat houses without the Port filling in the needed difference? Why?

And finally, the Bellingham Herald does not have this breaking news posted yet. Don't expect them to follow normal rules of journalistic courtesy and give credit to this website for breaking the news. They check this website several times each day watching for breaking news stories. Or so their staff tells me.

Update at 1:06 pm. Called Port Commissioner Mike McAuley but he prefers not to comment at this time.

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

Comments by Readers

Tip Johnson

Apr 02, 2012

Walker should be forced to resign.  He was willing to funnel 90 percent of over two million dollars in low interest bonds to his former employer, go on plenty of junkets himself, squander untold thousands on promotional literature that rotted in warehouses, and I could go on and on.  Charlie was actually starting to lease port property that sat idle for years and was interested in running a port, not the real estate holding company Walker wants to corruptly share with his friends.  This is a sad day for Bellingham’s waterfront. Walker should be deposed and disposed.  I call for a vote of no confidence in and censure of Walker from the other commissioners and petition them to invite Sheldon to return and run a port for benefit of the taxpayers of Whatcom County. A crooked bully like Walker shouldn’t be able to singlehandedly manage the port administration for the selfish benefit of his cronies.  How about it commissioners?

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Ham Hayes

Apr 02, 2012

What is going on?  As the elected officials of a public agency, the port commissioners owe the public an explanation.  If none is forthcoming, then it is valid for the public to question the commissioner’s individual and collective integrity and credibility.

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Hue Beattie

Apr 02, 2012

This is another point for 5 instead of 3 commissioners.  What a waste of 19 months .

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hotpickle

Apr 02, 2012

The Port Director serves at the pleasure of the Commissioners. If he found himself in a position where he was no longer able to “please” the Commissioners, he did the noble thing, and resigned. If you don’t like the actions of our elected Commissioners, then work hard to help elect someone else. Trashing them here, seems a little unseemly, perhaps THAT is the reason the Herald will probably not follow suit.

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Vince Biciunas

Apr 02, 2012

Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 3rd, is the Port Commissioner’s regular meeting (1st and 3rd Tuesdays) starting at 1:30 for an Executive Session, and re-convening at 3:00 pm for for the balance of business, including public comment. See the POB website for the agenda.

I wish there wasn’t this breaking news, on top of last Friday’s tragic fire.

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Dan Pike

Apr 02, 2012

There’s something squirrely going on, but I don’t yet believe it’s a done deal.  If it is, it’s bad news for the community.  Like many, I was pleasantly surprised at Charlie as the choice for Executive Director, and impressed at how he navigated the choppy waters he hired into.

I would encourage people, before assuming this is final, please convey your feelings to the Port Commission—they work for you.  It wouldn’t hurt to tell Charlie you appreciate his efforts, too.  If he leaves, it’s a major setback for the Prot, for Bellingham, and the entire County.

Dan Pike

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Michael McAuley

Apr 02, 2012

There will be a public conversation about this issue tomorrow at 3pm during the commission’s regular session down on the waterfront.  I will have a statement to make at that time.

1801 Roeder Ave.  Harbor Center Room on the ground floor of the main offices.

As always, feel free to call me for any issue: 360-201-7199

Mike McAuley

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Tip Johnson

Apr 02, 2012

Mike,
As usual, that 3:00 meeting time - unique to the Port among local governing bodies - effectively cuts out any involvement from regular working folk.  But you can probably guess my opinion by now, anyway.

To what I have already stated, I’ll add my support for a 5 member commission AND evening meetings so commissioners get to hear from us regular tax paying Joes.

Why would Walker drive off the first Port Director in decades willing to steer the Port toward being a port?  That’s the question I want answered.

What say thee, fellow commissioners?

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Todd Granger

Apr 03, 2012

Bellingham Belle, sold at public auction for $15,000.00?
Now it’s Scott Walkers job, to put out Bill Boyd’s Fire?
It’s squirrely all right, so let us add more politicians?

Like 3 County Commissioners who planned for the future, and built the Whatcom Chief?
7 are doing such a better job, with those emergency runs to the Dry Dock?

Once apon a time, there was a infamous politically connected skipper named Edward J. Smith, with a nickname “million dollar captain?”
June 14, 1911, attending skipper Edward J. Smith collided with the H.M.S. Hawke, R.M.S. Olympic rushes back to the drydock, love those maiden voyages?

And what a skipper he was…Titanic departs, April 10, 1912.

Unsinkable, just like her sister’s R.M.S. Brittannic straight to the bottom.

 

 

 

 

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Todd Granger

Apr 03, 2012

“Like a fire bell in the night…” Thomas Jefferson

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