Issues

Pam’s Priorities for the Port

I understand that failure is not an option for our Port; its success is critical to Jefferson County’s local economy.

$12.6 million of state and local taxes are generated by the marine trades (including moorage patrons) in Jefferson County, with $5.8 million returned to Jefferson County and the City of Port Townsend annually in tax revenue! These marine tradespeople spend $61 million in Jefferson County.

Equally important is continued public access to our Port facilities. The Port serves approximately 300 permanent moorage tenants, most of them local. Their love of boating provides the single greatest income stream for the Port in terms of moorage fees which supports our boatyard and maintenance of Port facilities that in turn supports the Marine Trades.

I want to ensure we maintain a Port that serves and remains accessible to Jefferson County residents.

I will build on the work of the past few years, and continue to develop an efficient, well-managed and financially sound Port.

Rebuild public trust with informed public debate

Our Port exists to serve and listen in order to provide input for guidance & informed decision making. There should be ample opportunities for the community to be involved in decision making.

As an example, we won’t accept a proposal for additional tax levy authority through an Industrial Development District (IDD) without a community-based and transparent plan for how tax dollars will be used. Through community partnerships and collaborations we will grow public understanding of the Port’s role in a healthy local economy, culture, environment & future.

We must:

- Use and update the Strategic Plan as a living guidance document.

- Provide citizens with clear information to review and consider well before significant decisions are made.

- Ensure Commissioners and staff follow the adopted Strategic Plan directive, “to sustain a high level of community involvement that informs Port decision making”.

- Use citizen participation strategies to help Commissioners understand issues and make decisions.

Financial accountability and sound business practices

We need leaders who will bring financial accountability back to our Port, and rebuild taxpayer trust. Our Port’s financial wellbeing is critical to Jefferson County. Community experts have identified significant problems with our Port’s financial management and planning. Our Port is at great financial risk due to carelessness in managing expenses, understanding revenue streams, and developing budgets based on inadequate information. As a public entity, our Port must be transparent to the community about its financial position.

We must:

- Hold the Executive Director and Financial Manager accountable for producing and analyzing standard accounting reports that are understandable to the public.

- Require that rate proposals, operating budget and capital budgets be developed based on real revenue projections and planned expenditures, not imagined estimates.

- Have a five-year capital facilities plan that includes real funding sources and accurate estimates that interfaces with the operating budget.

- Ensure every year with the budget process, that the Port presents a clear and affordable plan to the community for facility maintenance, repair and replacement.

- Hold expenses to 2019 adopted budget numbers over next four years to ensure operating profitability.

- Use financial analysis to make decisions about what activities and services should be changed, expanded or surplussed/eliminated.

Retain, support and expand existing marine trades and small businesses

The marine trades sector contributes revenues of almost 6 million dollars of tax receipts to Jefferson County and the City of Port Townsend. These tax dollars fund services such as the library, health, education, and roads. Without our Port’s property tax investment of one million to generate this revenue, millions of dollars would come out of taxpayer pockets. We must ensure that our Port has a fair and welcoming leasing environment for these critical businesses. We cannot accept a Port organization that neglects and diminishes good tenants and moorage patrons. Business owners and tenants need stable and predictable lease terms and rates. Our Port must support reasonable expansion of existing businesses

We must:

- Maintain rates and fees that are aligned with inflation and fair market value.

- Collaborate with tenants to develop business-based measures for Port success. Report annually on business jobs retained, expanded or created.

- Negotiate with tenants who are willing to buy Port buildings. This will support business investment, generate revenue for capital projects and free the Port from maintenance obligations.

Affordable community access to facilities, services, and shorelines

Our Port’s public shoreline access is a treasure we cannot afford to lose. We will not sell our shoreline access. Port facilities, services and shorelines must be accessible and affordable for county residents. We cannot price Jefferson County residents out of enjoying access to Port resources.

We must:

- Use fair comparisons and consider affordability when setting rates and fees.

- Collaborate with local communities to develop property management plans.

- Adopt and implement the 1994 Master Plan for Point Hudson (final report) and ask the City of Port Townsend to do the same.. (PDF Link attached)

Environmental stewardship of land, sea and air

We understand that our health and survival as humans is intertwined with the wellbeing of our water, land and air. Our Port’s economic health is also tied to ensuring our marine trades activities meet Clean Water Act permit requirements. We have had recent success in stabilizing water quality at the Boat Haven boatyard. Now, we can start to envision our Port being a leader in environmental stewardship.

We must:

- Ensure compliance with WA Department of Ecology stormwater permits for Boat Haven, and a plan for future onsite stormwater management.

- Make sure all our management decisions consider environmental impacts

Directing our Port’s Executive Director

We must ensure Port Commissioners effectively guide and direct the Executive Director (ED) and have the tools to do this. We need a leader who can support the Commissioners focus on making decisions to achieve our Port’s Strategic Plan. To do this, Commissioners must trust that the ED is professionally and efficiently managing the day-to-day operations of the Port. Historically, these roles have not been clear.

We must:

- Have a community-based process to create a clear job description before recruiting a new Executive Director.

- Hold our Port Commission responsible for recruiting, hiring and evaluating the performance of the Executive Director.

- Require an Executive Director to have these basic skills:

*knowledge of financial management practices,

*ability to lead staff in creating a welcoming environment for our maritime culture, marine trades and small local businesses,

*citizen engagement and community partnerships experience,

*ability to organize & manage all port planning and policy documents for easy public access and timely updates.

Jefferson County Marine Trades Economic Impact Study

Spurred on by the national trend of gentrification of historical working waterfronts, Pam co-led an economic study to document the value and importance of the marine trade industries in Jefferson County. The study was conducted by Martin Associates, an internationally recognized leading economic and transportation consulting firm. Since its founding in 1986 by Dr. John C. Martin, Martin Associates has conducted more than 900 economic and planning studies for nearly every port in the United States, as well as ports in China, Europe, Ireland, South America and the Caribbean.

The current marine trades economy in Jefferson County, as shown in this report, generates a robust and reliable revenue stream for the local region. A total of 2,243 jobs (direct, induced and indirect jobs) are generated as a result of the marine trades cluster in Jefferson County. As a comparison, research through the U.S. Census Bureau, indicates total employment in Jefferson County in 2016 was 11,797 jobs. Jobs directly supported as a result of the maritime activity in the county is 2,243, or 19.0% of total Jefferson County employment.

The fact that the marine trades clusters of Jefferson County are of great importance to the local economy as a major source of job creation, underscores the importance of marine trades as a major catalyst in Jefferson County. In order to sustain growth as an economic engine for Jefferson County and the state of Washington, emphasis should be placed on preserving the heritage and culture of marine trades in Jefferson County.

http://ptmta.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018-Jefferson-County-Marine-Trades-Impact-Report.pdf