Video of port commissioners is posted

Byy On

Quite the Port of Bellingham commissioner meeting yesterday. As is well known by now, the commission did not offer Charlie Sheldon his job back as executive director. Mike McAuley made the motion, knowing it was an empty gesture, and Jim Jorgensen and Scott Walker just sat there, neither giving a second to the motion.

And so the die is cast - with Jorgensen and Walker confirming their illegal and attempted secretive play to oust Sheldon for no apparent reason. At least no reason was forthcoming over the next half hour as the two of them tried to explain it all to the packed room of citizens. Virtually everyone was there to support rehiring Sheldon.

Prior to this, the three commissioners met for over two hours in a closed executive session. And upon opening the public portion of the meeting at 3:20 p.m., about 20 people spoke in support of Sheldon, with several more speaking to an issue of lead in aviation gas at the airport.

I took a video of the three speeches and have posted it to YouTube. As my camera will only shoot about 15 minutes of continuous video, the 26:16 minutes is missing about 10 seconds of Jorgensen's speech at the 16:16 point of the film. You hardly notice it. I have ordered the full audio of the meeting, and will add Jorgensen's words here as an 'update' in a few days.

Click here to view the Video on YouTube.

Here is a timeline of the three speakers.
McAuley from beginning to 7:12 -
Walker from 7:45 until 15:39 -
Jorgensen from 15:39 until 18:36

For the last 8 minutes, Walker talks the most and jousts with the audience over the reasons for firing Sheldon. Walker tries to revise history by saying the commission did not force Sheldon to resign and that Sheldon did not plan to stay at the port very long anyway. The audience becomes disgusted with Walker's lies and calls him out on it.

We can each draw our own conclusions from the video. For me, it is instructive to see how Jorgensen seems so blank and how his explanations lack any specificity or logic. One can see how Walker could bully him into helping with firing Sheldon.

My hope is we don't let our disgust with all this be forgotten, but use this clear example of port commissioners Walker and Jorgensen refusing to be accountable to the voters as a lever to increase the commission to 5 members. More on that later.

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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

John Watts

Apr 18, 2012

Thanks for posting this, but forgive me if I don’t watch it over again.
I’ve posted this blog this morning:


Doug Starcher

Apr 18, 2012

John, if you got Tip Johnson’s comment at the beginning of the meeting, would you please post it as well? Thank you for filming and posting!


Tip Johnson

Apr 18, 2012

I’m not sure if that deserves a “wow!” or merely an “ow!”, maybe both.


Anne-Marie Faiola

Apr 18, 2012

Thanks for posting this. So many people wrote me and said they would have come to the meeting but they had to work (3 p.m. meetings are difficult to make if you have a 9-5 job) and I’m sure they will be interested in seeing this for the first time.

Me? The entire situation makes me want to just hang my head in disappointment so I won’t be watching the proceedings again. It was sad the first time I saw it happen live and I’m betting it will be unbearable to watch a second time.

The positive Charlie Sheldon comments throughout the entire public comment process would be uplifting to see though! =)


Todd Granger

Apr 19, 2012

Have we flogged our crew today, what’s an executive?

“King of the Roost…Harmonize Staff…Personell Issues…Out on a limb…fractured staff…work together…penitentiary stoned face…

January 5, 1789…Three crewmen of the Bounty desert. The three men are eventually rounded up and, upon Bligh’s orders, flogged on February 2.
April 28, 1789… Bligh is seized while sleeping by a gang of mutineers.  Bligh and other loyalists are set to sea in a 24-foot launch…
April 30, 1789…George Washington’s, 1st Inaugural…“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained…

Early November 1790… The HMS Pandora, commissioned to journey to the South Pacific and retrieve as many of the Bounty mutineers as possible, departs England…

Mr. WILLIAM COLE called in again.
Examined by the COURT
Q. Who were the People that forced Mr. Bligh into the Boat?
A. I cannot tell. I was in the Boat, I could not see.

October 29, 1792…Three convicted mutineers (John Millward, Thomas Ellison, and Thomas Burkett) are hanged on the Brunswick.

Notice the green flag in the background?


Donna Auer

Apr 19, 2012

I’ve watch Michael McAuley’s involvement in the community over many years and I am so proud of the way he has stood up for his principles in this situation.  Many thanks to him for his impassioned and reasoned speech in this video - and for all the work he has done here to foster honesty,  accountability, and public process at the Port of Bellingham.  Well done, Mike!


Todd Granger

Apr 19, 2012

What is an Executive?

Does the 19th of April, ring a Fire Belle today 1775?

Keeper of the Fleetwood, mayor Pike, and the Boyd without a paddle, or a pike pole?

“King of the Roost”

In any local executive office, rearranging the deck chairs too!




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