In a few weeks, all voters in Grays Harbor have a choice to make concerning the race for Port Commissioner Position 1. All of us who live on the Harbor have an opportunity to vote for the most qualified person to represent us at the Port. Chuck Caldwell is highly qualified to continue to fill this role.
Chuck Caldwell is someone who has a proven track record in helping Grays Harbor move forward, whose ideas are looking toward improving our future, and who is willing to examine all sides of an idea, issue, opportunity or project before making a decision. We need to vote to keep Mr. Caldwell as port commissioner. His record of local community service extends back over the past 60 years. He gives careful and thoughtful consideration to any decision he makes and has always wanted only the best for Grays Harbor. He has seen the Harbor go through many levels of economic growth and decline, remembering the years when the Harbor was filled with ships, most of them loading and unloading timber as well as those years when the river and docks were void of nearly any activity. When he became port commissioner his vision was to help bring back the days when the port was active, alive and moving forward economically. He knew to achieve that goal there needed to be diversification in the business on the port not only importing and exporting, but working to bring in private enterprise investments. Today there is over $200 million of private enterprise on port property, the longshoremen are working and the number of incoming ships has risen to 102 this year.
Someone has made the statement that Mr. Figler-Barnes would “bring the port out of the shadows.” I have a suggestion, drive down and take a look at the Port. It most definitely is not in the shadows. It is the only business on the Harbor that is a bright shining spot. If the Port was “in the shadows” other ports would not be asking for advice on how we have achieved this level of growth and diversification. Many of the 1,000 people who are employed by the businesses at the Port buy homes, pay taxes, shop locally and are generating revenue on the Harbor. Take away those jobs, or even some of them, and what would happen to our local economy?
We’ve seen the fallout of well intentioned environmentalists who have unrealistic goals. Remember that an unbalanced approach has resulted in the decimation of the timber industry, and these same environmentalists are behind the Wild Olympics movement. Also, the proposal to build the Scottish Highland style golf course and hotel in Westport was prevented by strong environmental opposition.
Examine each of the candidate’s records and their vision for Grays Harbor and you will see who is the most qualified candidate: One who has a realistic vision for the port and the Harbor, plus 12 years experience as a port commissioner with an exemplary community service record, or one who has an agenda and no record of community service for improving Grays Harbor and whose idea of diversification is creating a “seaport village” at the Port.
I strongly urge you to cast your vote to re-elect Chuck Caldwell Port Commissioner Position 1. Let’s keep the Port moving forward.