Sat, April 14 Update: Total signatures now over 800 - and almost evenly split between online and the paper petitions. Petition carriers have found most people now aware of the Port's tawdry actions and ready to sign.
Today's Bellingham Herald article by John Stark helped many to see just how tawdry, secretive and basely motivated some staff and two commissioners were. We urge all to sign and request Jim Jorgensen join Mike McAuley in hiring Charlie Sheldon back as port executive director at this Tuesday's port commissioner meeting.
Update Tue, April 10. The online petition now has over 300 signatures, many from county political leaders from all spectrums. And the paper petitions now have 250 signatures, for a total approaching 600 signatures - in less than a week. If you have signed, then let your local friends know about this and encourage they sign. Granted, this petition carries no legal weight, but it is a very real way for us to tell the two commissioners who demanded Charlie resign that we citizens find this wrong - and that we urge them to reconsider.
Now online - a well worded petition has been posted by Anne-Marie Faiola, requesting the port commissioners meet and revoke their termination of Charlie Sheldon. We can all sign that and show this community appreciates the breath of fresh air that Charlie brought to the Port of Bellingham.
It has been quite impressive how we all took a liking to Charlie's management style. He was friendly, fair and open to new ideas. He has shown all of us in Bellingham and Whatcom County how leadership in our public organizations can be far more effective than we have experienced in the past. At the port meeting on Tuesday, I was particularly struck by the statement of Doug Thomas, the president of Bellingham Cold Storage. He said basically that with Charlie, we were beginning to see not just how we could do well in this community, but how we might excell in our efforts for a good economy. I need to get the audio of the meeting to actually write his exact words. But that is an impressive point to be put forward by one of Bellingham's premier business owners.
We need Charlie back - and it is up to us to act. I hope many sign the petition.