ANACORTES — Three of the five commissioner seats for the Port of Anacortes will be determined by voters Nov. 7.

The six candidates running for the three positions include one incumbent and five newcomers.

Following are previews of the three port races on the ballot.

Position 1

Ken Goodwin and Allen Workman advanced to the general election out of a three-candidate primary in August.

Goodwin received 938 votes to Workman's 376.

Now the two will square off to fill the seat of Ray Niver who is not running for re-election.

Goodwin worked 44 years as a certified public accountant and served 17 years as a commissioner in the Woodinville Water District.

He also has experience as a recreational boater, time in the Navy and a stint with the Merchant Marine.

"I've got a lot of the skill sets necessary," he said about the commissioner position.

Goodwin, who retired to the area five years ago, said he is strong on environmental cleanup, works well with others and backs the idea of developing the port's Northwest Basin with a community events center and a hotel or restaurant.

"It would bring in more jobs and more opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy the marina," he said.

Workman, who moved to Skagit County from California about 20 years ago, has over the years been getting more and more involved in the Anacortes community.

"This (running for office) was the logical extension to being active in my community and wanting to give back," he said.

Among the biggest issues Workman sees facing the port over the next four years is the declining revenue through the port's marine terminal and finding ways to utilize vacant port property.

"Vacant land produces no revenue, produces no jobs and no extra source of income for the port or the community as well," he said. "There is no ripple effect."

As a real estate managing broker, Workman said he is also well aware of the value of the port's marina to residents and potential residents.

Position 2

Four-term port incumbent Bill Short is taking on newcomer Jon Petrich.

Short is happy with the progress the port has made in his 16 years as a commissioner.

That progress includes a significant increase in the number of rendezvous — groups of boats coming in together — as well as an increase in the number of nights boats dock at the port's marina per year.

"All of the sudden people are waking up the fact that Anacortes is a place to come to," he said.

Among his goals for a fifth term is increasing the amenities at the marina, including adding a multipurpose building.

"The big things I see as gains in the future are in the marina and on leases on properties," he said.

Among possibilities for port property, he said, are a restaurant, corporate offices and a fish processor.

Though Petrich is running for elected office for the first time, he is no stranger to what it means to serve the public.

His grandfather, John A. Petrich Sr., was a state legislator.

"I've believed in public service my whole life," Jon Petrich said.

Having worked in the maritime industry for 10 years, and having majored in finance and economics at Eastern Washington University, he believes he has what it takes to serve as a port commissioner.

"The port has done some wonderful things for our community and it has the potential to do more wonderful things for the community. I want to be part of that," said Petrich, who is a project supervisor and lead vessel operator for National Response Corporation, an environmental cleanup company.

One of the things Petrich said he would focus on as a commissioner would be to diversify the revenue stream at the port's marine terminal.

He said petroleum, coke and prilled sulfur make up the lion's share of the port's revenue stream, and the port would be well served to look at other products such as soy and corn.

"We really need to be active in making the Port of Anacortes a destination for imports and exports," Petrich said.

Position 5

Two first-time candidates will compete for a position that was left open when Keith Rubin opted not to run.

Competing for the position are Katherine Pittis, who worked for the port for 21 years, and Island Adventures President and General Manager Shane Aggergaard.

Pittis has held four director positions in her time with the port.

"I know the operation well," she said. "Over the years, I've seen very good commissioners and the whole spectrum."

She said good commissioners give direction to port staff but not to the point of micromanaging.

Pittis said she is in support of port projects such as the replacement of the marina's A dock and the development of the Northwest Basin.

She said with the decrease in the amount of prilled sulfur coming into the marine terminal, she believes the port should diversify the types of cargo being brought in.

"We need to bring in new business lines," she said. "That's a big deal. Having the majority of your eggs in one basket at the marine terminal is not a good business decision."

Aggergaard said he has thought about running for port commissioner for the past decade, but didn't because of time he needed to devote to his business and his family.

Now that his business, Island Adventures, is better established and his children are older, the time is right, he said.

"To me, it almost feels like the perfect time because I'm not retired and still very much connected to the community and marina," Aggergaard said.

He said that as an owner of a boating-related business, he can bring a perspective to the port that it currently doesn't have on the commission.

"As far as having a connection to the community and as far as a tenant on the other side of the port I can represent the community as well as anyone," he said.

Among the big issues facing the port, he said, is the development of the Northwest Basin and the replacement of A dock.

But it's not just the dock's replacement that should be looked at.

"It's how it's done, the logistics of it," he said. "How do you do it and not disrupt the commerce that is there?"

— Assignment Editor Dan Ruthemeyer: 360-416-2143, druthemeyer@skagitpublishing.com

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