Earlier this evening, the Seattle Port Commission concluded its first meeting for the year 2012, at which Commissioners Bill Bryant and Gael Tarleton (one of NPI’s founding board members) were sworn in for their second terms in office, following the certification of the November general election a few weeks ago.
The Commission also elected its officers for the next twelve months, and I’m delighted to report that Gael was elected as the commission’s president for the first time. (Gael also serves as NPI’s president, and has since March 2011).
John Creighton was elected to the position of vice president, and Tom Albro was elected to the position of secretary. Creighton is in the midst of his second term on the commission, while Albro is halfway through his first.
Later in the meeting, commissioners authorized Chief Executive Officer Tay Yoshitani and his staff to move forward on several matters under a consent calendar, including the execution of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the Port and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 9 through December 31st, 2014. (The contract is with aviation operations and security workers, who are represented by ILWU).
Commissioners also approved a motion acknowledging that tomorrow is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Human trafficking is a serious (and under-reported) crime that victimizes more than ten thousand people each year. It is the twenty-first century version of slavery, and it must be stamped out.
As I mentioned back in November, 2011 marked the first election cycle in more than a decade in which the people of King County did not turn any incumbent port commissioners out of office. I think voters have recognized that the Mic Dinsmore era — a sad and shameful chapter in the history of the Port of Seattle — is over. The Port’s new leadership (of which Gael is a part) has improved the Port’s business practices, introduced new measures to ensure accountability and transparency, and strengthened ties to other local governments.
The Port still has work to do. It especially needs to lessen its environmental footprint and help lead the cleanup of the Duwamish River. Thankfully, it is now in a position where it can begin making progress on those issues. During the Dinsmore days, it wasn’t, and we are extremely thankful that those days are behind us.