Petition to Keep Charlie Sheldon is Online

By On

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.

Bellingham Port Commissioners: Keep Charlie Sheldon

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.

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


Apr 05, 2012

Mr. Sheldon has resigned. The Port Commissioners have accepted his resignation. What exactly do you think this petition is going to do?


Anne-Marie Faiola

Apr 05, 2012

That’s a great question, Ed.

If the position does nothing more than shed light on what is appearing to be a shady power play, then that’s enough. At the very best though, it might show the commissioners that there is wide spread support for Charlie Sheldon in the community and encourage them to take a second look at the circumstances around the hurried weekend ‘resign or be fired’ dealings.

The commissioners spent a large amount of money, time and effort in hiring Charlie Sheldon. They should spend an equal amount of time and effort in figuring out if he really should go - or, if this was just a shady power play by the vocal few.


Doug Karlberg

Apr 05, 2012

Mr. Scott,

With all due respect the petition establishes something extraordinarily critical for Whatcom County. The petition establishes that if a good public official is railroaded by an abusive and egotistical government official like Port Commissioner Walker, that the citizens will stand tall and vocal, to support a good man.

The citizens direct action, in this case is the only hope in the future that well qualified public officials will even consider Whatcom County as a place they would like to work.

Commissioner Walker has with callous disregard, destroyed the attractiveness of talented people to consider working at the Port of Bellingham.

By all accounts from customers, to citizens, to businesses, to City and County, Charlie Sheldon was an effective, hard working leader that was appreciated. What more could we ask for?

The Port of Bellingham needs to be an attractive place to work in order for our Port to be effective.

It is in the best interests of all the residents of Whatcom County, who are the true owners of the Port, to have an effective Executive Director at the Port of Bellingham.

I suspect that Walkers goal is to only hire an Executive Director who kowtows to Commissioner Walker.

In the end, if all the people who enjoyed and appreciated working with Charlie Sheldon do not stand up and be heard, what does that say about us as citizens and a community?

Mr. Scott, you may think it is a waste of time, but this is time I am proud to waste, it is the least we can do for a good man who did nothing except disagree with Commissioner Walkers grandiose plans, for a more practical and fiscally balanced approach to the waterfront.

Commissioner Walker is a tyrant, and is single handedly destroying our communities ability to work with OUR Port.

This firing, has set the community against its own Port and will stall the waterfront and other projects in its tracks, to say nothing of local businesses willingness to locate and create taxes and jobs in Whatcom County.

The most valuable asset that the Port has, is the trust of its’ citizens, and Commissioner Walker has single handedly destroyed this trust. The Port will become a wounded and ineffective organization because of the destroyed trust.

Commissioner Walkers sneaky behind the scenes tyranny has gone on for far too long, and is terribly destructive to our community,

... and I cannot remain silent any longer.


Todd Granger

Apr 06, 2012

Doug Thomas, acting as one of a few operations who actually does export a product (active commerce) from many producers at Bellingham Cold Storage, most likely can’t fit into the sport port definition that Walker and Jorgensen have been promoting for years.

What is a sport port and passive commerce?

Just look at the former Federal Waterway designation in front of GP? Removed for…?

Jorgensen state’s clearly “we don’t know ooperations” YES WE DO!

“...But in a state of disunion, these combinations might exist and operate with success. It would be in the power of the maratime nations, availing themselves of our universal impotence, to prescribe the conditions of our political existance; and as they have a common interest in being our carriers, and still more in preventing our becoming theirs, they would in all probability continue to embarrass our navagation in such manner as would in weffect destroy it, and confine us to a PASSIVE COMMERCE…”
Publius #11


David Camp

Apr 06, 2012

On The Waterfront….....