Marion Yoshino is the better choice for Position 5 on the Port of Seattle commission.
PEOPLE may think the Port of Seattle is all about the waterfront, but its largest activity by far is running Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Over the next few years, the Port plans to spend $2 billion upgrading the airport, making it even more of a focus for port commissioners.
This remodeling binge includes a new international arrivals facility that’s already stirred controversy with airport tenants.
The Times recommends:
Seattle Port Commissioner Position No. 5
Strengths: Knowledgeable and experienced, has a pragmatic view on Shell's use of Terminal 5
More important than Yoshino’s local knowledge is her experience in collaborative government positions and creating economic opportunity — the Port’s primary mission."
Marion Yoshino, one of the two candidates running for port commission Position 5, is uniquely qualified to help oversee the port during this phase of its growth.
Yoshino is a former Des Moines economic-development manager and Normandy Park City Council member. She now runs a French auto parts business with her husband in Normandy Park, near the airport.
More important than Yoshino’s local knowledge is her experience in collaborative government positions and creating economic opportunity — the Port’s primary mission.
Challenger Fred Felleman, an environmental advocate, has scrappiness and familiarity with port governance after years of engagement.
But the Port is in a delicate spot with maritime industries right now. Some are considering moving away after enduring local officials’ misguided attack on Shell’s temporary use of Terminal 5.
Both candidates are sympathetic to drilling opponents and hope the world moves to cleaner energy sources. Both say the Port should have been more transparent regarding Shell. But Yoshino is more pragmatic, suggesting that revenue from today’s oil projects can be used to research and invest in alternatives.
Relatively mild-mannered, Yoshino would be an even better commissioner if she picks up some of Felleman’s feistiness along the campaign trail.
Either way, the Port and its constituents would be best served by Yoshino on the commission and Felleman continuing his environmental activism.