Lunch Demonstrates SEED Disagreement

The Port Orchard Independent’s Justine Frederiksen attended a lunch between port and county commissioners last week and filed this report.

The story demonstrates the ongoing debate, chiefly between port commissioners Bill Mahan and Larry Stokes. Stokes wonders in the story, as he has in past meetings, why SEED can’t get its start in the 24,000-square-foot building the port just finished.

By the way, the port’s chief operating officer, Tim Thomson, said at the last commissioners’ meeting that another company is interested enough to be looking at the recently finished building.

3 thoughts on “Lunch Demonstrates SEED Disagreement

  1. I found this… amusing.

    “As an example of the the lack of progress that is frustrating him, Mahan pointed to the fact that the port board voted nearly six months ago to “pause” the SEED project and have a third party review the project’s business and financial plans.

    “At that time, the pause was supposed to be 60 days,” he said. “Now, here we are 150 days out and we haven’t even retained a company. There’s no leadership there.”

    And the buck stops where, Commissioner Mahan?

  2. 150 days? The “pause” was decided at the 2/26/08 meeting of the Port. That was 97 days ago, not 150. While I am a bit surprised that the Port hasn’t even hired a review firm yet, I thought that timeline would be one approved or driven by the Port Commissioners??

    Further, Commissioner Mahan is reported to have said, “Now, here we are 150 days out and we haven’t even retained a company. There’s no leadership there.”

    Is he talking about the Port Commission or the Port employees? Or is there an outside force holding back the “pause”?

    Kathryn Simpson

  3. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if the topic was discussed long before, but Bill’s six month reference is indeed a curious one given the official vote to “pause” SEED. 150 days is also odd. Nonetheless, more than 60 days have elapsed regarding the mere selection of a company…not even counting the review’s completion. Either way – get it done. With a majority effort/vote required to move the process forward, Mahan could be referring to this and/or employees. There isn’t much new data here. The differing views held by Kincer, Stokes and Mahan are well documented.

    The question of why SEED needed to have an incubator building was revealing. The Commissioners have documentation explaining this. “I just don’t believe you can build it and hope they will come.”] is also interesting in light of advocacy for NASCAR.

    Regarding focus on a reduced plan to use the current building, this has been discussed for 6-8 months. Benefits and concerns have been expressed. Getting a tenant into the current building would help the company interested, but what are the Port’s resources to add to its expertise? Would this model meet larger community goals? What are the costs as compared to the revenue capacity of the building? Is this well thought out, or a quick fix just to get something done? The likelihood that SEED and incubation would look like a loser increases, adding fuel to existing misunderstanding regarding both the project and incubators in general. The Port has studies which indicate this.

    On a separate note….Kathryn, can you contact me. I assume you know how.

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