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.