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Ham Hayes - candidate for Port Commissioner

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Note: Each primary election candidate - Port, County Council and City Council - has been invited to submit one article for posting here on NwCitizen. This is the fourth to be posted. As others are received, we’ll post them.
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I’m Ham Hayes, and my goal is to reform the Port of Bellingham. There are two big issues in this campaign: First, have the incumbent Port Commissioners done their job with the port’s prime mission: economic development and job creation? The answer is no. Second, have these same commissioners created a healthy and open working relationship with our community? The answer is no.

Here’s what I have found from talking with people and business owners around the county and analyzing Port records. Our county has been in a long term, steady economic decline throughout the terms of our incumbents. These Commissioners have not only failed to recognize this, but they penalized our existing businesses and granted $180 million in bonds, or 93%, to BP at the expense of local industry. They ignore the ideas and needs our businesses, county-wide. They collect property taxes from the entire county, yet serve only a select few.

The evidence is that the Port Commissioners don’t really want meaningful input from the public. They have repeatedly snubbed the public and the City, denied public hearings, ignored public input, and damaged our credibility with state and federal officials. We stand to lose tens of millions of dollars in the future because the Port Commissioners won’t allow the public to comment on the wisdom of a new marina.

If you agree with this assessment, then it is time for a change. It is time for new Port Commissioners.

In the area of economic development and jobs, I will have the Commission shift its focus away from building condos on the waterfront, and instead focus on helping businesses in industry and agriculture find the money needed to expand, create and retain jobs. I will work to eliminate cost, tax and regulatory barriers that put our county and jobs at risk.

I will involve the public in a meaningful way. My approach is to give the public the opportunity to say what is important to them, and to give them meaningful and understandable answers to their questions and concerns in return. The Commission needs to reach out to the public, not hide. I will help the Port learn new things and new ways of working with the public.

I offer 25 years experience in business and management in a variety of industries. I have successfully directed multi-million dollar projects in the private sector and with the federal government. I have successfully developed teams of people who work across organization, community and cultural boundaries to attain common goals.

In service to our local community government, I recently served as the Vice Chairman of the Marina Advisory Committee where I addressed the needs and problems of our marine industries and tourism. I also have served as President of the Puget Neighborhood Association.

I ask for your vote and support in order to change the direction of our Port.

For more information and details, please go to: www.hayesforport.com

Please vote in the primary, a lot is on the line,
Ham Hayes

About Guest Writer

Citizen Journalist • Member since Jun 15, 2008

Guest Writer is for over 100 articles by individuals who are not writers or contributors. Their actual name and brief info is listed at the top or bottom of their articles.