A few port notes, and a retreat that excluded the press


A couple of items I couldn’t squeeze into my story on the Port of Bremerton, with a new commission and CEO.


1. I interviewed each commissioner individually, and two — Larry Stokes and Roger Zabinski — expressed their frustration of having a three-member commission. Under state opening-meeting rules, two members can’t meet without notice to the public, as two members is a quorum on a three-member commission. That means no business-related phone calls, emails and correspondence. Zabinski suggest a five-member board with members serving four-year terms instead of the current six-year terms. Former Commissioner Bill Mahan proposed a five-member commission back in 2010, but was shot down:


2. Stokes expressed his anger to me about the Port of Bremerton spending $35,000 annually to help support the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance. This past Thursday and Friday, KEDA had an overnight retreat at IslandWood.

Stokes said, “If they are having a retreat on Bainbridge Island at taxpayers’ expense, if you can’t drive up there in 30 minutes, that’s wrong. You can quote me, I’m not going.”

I didn’t go either. The press was not invited to the retreat of this group largely funded by public monies. I will take this up with Executive Director John Powers and board members the next time I see them. Luckily I know who most of them are, because the KEDA website fails to list them. Elliot Gregg is board president. Often, I am not invited to the group’s annual meetings, either, at least in recent years. When I found out about the quiet overnight retreat at IslandWood — late last week while it was in full swing — I phoned KEDA member Ed Stern and passed on the word that the press is entitled to have the option to report this to the public.

Rachel Pritchett, reporter

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