News This Year’s Port of Seattle Elections are About to Get Interesting. I Swear.
posted by April 20 at 0:50 AMon
Do not yawn.
Finally, thanks to the PI’s big scoop (without public notice, public review or a public vote of approval by the Commission, Port Commissioner Pat Davis okayed a $340,000 severance package of one year’s salary to outgoing Port CEO Mic Dinsmore), this year’s Port of Seattle elections are going to be interesting.
Tonight, for example, the 46th District Democrats called for an investigation and subsequently, possible resignation of Commissioner Pat Davis (and any other commissioner who was privy to this kooky $340,000 severance package deal). I’ve linked their resolution below the jump.
Two commissioners are up for reelection this year: Conservative Bob Edwards and liberal Alec Fisken. Fisken has voiced his disbelief and outrage at Davis’s weird move. He told the PI:
This is outrageous, and I can’t imagine where it came from. Pat said we had approved this, but I have no recollection of it at any meeting — it would still have to come to a formal vote for payments to be made.
Edwards has not condemned Davis.
Fisken, a meticulous reformer is facing a stiff challenge from a well-funded Republican and export consultant Bill Bryant.
Erica C. Barnett had reported on Bryant’s GOP credentials last month:
Port Candidate Hearts Republicans
Port commission candidate Bill Bryant, who is challenging liberal commissioner Alec Fisken, quotes Democrat Barack Obama at length in a recent campaign mailing. He also cites preserving “family wage jobs” and cleaning up polluted Elliott Bay as his two top priorities. So he’s a union proponent and an environmentalist, right? Actually, no—he’s a Republican. Since 1999, the waterfront trade consultant has donated thousands to conservative Republicans, including former U.S.
RepresentativeSenator Slade Gorton ($1,000), President George W. Bush ($3,000), Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike McGavick ($4,200), Republican Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell ($1,000), Republican gubernatorial nominee Dino Rossi ($1,500), and Republican gubernatorial candidate John Carlson ($500), among many others who aren’t exactly environmental and union stalwarts.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Edwards is facing a challenge from a tough-as-nails liberal, Gael Tarleton, who works for UW’s Office of Global Affairs.
Both challengers, obviously, are poised to ride the wave of this scandal.
However, it would be bad karma if a reformer like Fisken got unwittingly swept out by angry voters .
Look for Fisken to continue being critical of Davis. I’ve heard that he and fellow reform-minder Commissioner Lloyd Hara and even the more status quo John Creighton may call for Davis to step down.
It’s not clear what Edwards, who may be caught up in the Davis scandal as well, is going to do.
(Edwards is also being challenged by Burien City Councilman Jack Block Jr.)
Read the 46th District Democrats Resolution below.
46th District Democrats
Resolution of Censure and Call for Investigation at Port of Seattle Commission
WHEREAS, the Port of Seattle is responsible for the management and operations of the Sea-Tac International Airport, Seattle seaport, local marinas and extensive real estate assets, and
WHEREAS, the Port of Seattle is governed by elected Commissioners who are responsible for oversight and ensuring that Port operations are transparent, efficient, profitable, safe, and serve the citizens of King County, and
WHEREAS, Mr. Mic Dinsmore has been the Executive Director of the Port of Seattle for 15 years and recently retired as the highest paid port executive in the entire country with: A) an annual salary of $339,841 that is over 33 times the 2007 Federal Poverty Guideline of $10,210, and B) an extensive expense account including all costs for a leased luxury auto, extravagant entertaining, thousands of dollars in bar and restaurant tabs, and first class travel to exotic locales, and
WHEREAS, recent news stories have noted that Mr. Dinsmore has $858,617 in two retirement accounts, including $431,231 in port contributions, and is due a $107,000 annual pension that is over 10 times the 2007 Federal Poverty Guideline of $10,210, and giving him one of the most profitable pensions in the history of state and local government in Washington state, and
WHEREAS, Port Commissioner Pat Davis signed a letter dated Oct. 10, 2006, while she was President of the Commission, that attempted to authorize a supplemental severance package of one year’s salary to Mr. Dinsmore in the amount of $339,841 without public notice, public review or a public vote of approval by the Commission, and
WHEREAS, it is illegal for any individual Port Commissioner or for the Port Commission as a body to authorize the expenditure of funds for a supplemental payout to Mr. Dinsmore without public notice and a public vote of the full Commission.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 46th District Democrats hereby call for a full and complete investigation into the circumstances and actions surrounding the attempt to authorize the illegal, unethical and unearned payout of one year’s salary in the amount of $339,841 to former Port of Seattle Executive Director Mic Dinsmore, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if it is found that Port Commissioner Pat Davis, or any other complicit Commissioners, did attempt to authorize the illegal, unethical and unearned payout of $339,841 to former Port of Seattle Executive Director Mic Dinsmore, then the 46th District Democrats hereby censure Seattle Port Commissioner Pat Davis, and any other complicit Commissioners, for the abuse of public trust, abuse of power, misuse of public funds and failure to perform the duties as a sworn public official, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if it is found that Port Commissioner Pat Davis, or any other complicit Commissioners, did attempt to authorize the illegal, unethical and unearned payout of $339,841 to former Port of Seattle Executive Director Mic Dinsmore, then the 46th District Democrats hereby call for the immediate resignation of Seattle Port Commissioner Pat Davis and any other complicit Commissioners.