A group of citizens are planning attend the Port meeting on Tuesday to urge the commissioners to expand the port commission from 3 to 5 members by placing the issue on the August ballot. The initiative process has begun, but the Port has the power to save us from weeks of signature gathering. State law allows the issue to be put on the ballot via either an initiative or a vote of the current three port commissioners.
After the messy dismissal of Charlie Sheldon, this is an opportunity for the commissioners to show some respect and trust for the voters of Whatcom County. We are not asking the commissioners to endorse expanding the commission to 5. We are just asking them to allow the voters to decide this question.
If the commissioners do not place this on the ballot, we are sure we will easily get enough signatures to put it on the ballot. And “we” is a rapidly increasing number of people who are asking for petitions. We need only 7,000 from the entire county.
We urge others to join us tomorrow at the Port meeting at 3 p.m. and ask the commissioners to place this issue on the ballot for the August primary election. The meeting is at the port offices on Roeder Avenue.
Here is what the ballot would ask:
Should the number of Port Commissioners be increased from three (3) to five (5) by adding two at-large positions? yes?___ no? ____
Then the pros and cons of approving this can be hashed out over May, June and July. Many of us feel this expansion is long overdue and will provide a better decision-making commission. By approving this in August, we can elect the two new commissioners inthe November general election.