Port of Seattle

Port of Seattle

The Port of Seattle is a port district that runs Seattle's seaport and airport. Its creation was approved by the voters of King County, Washington, on September 5, 1911, authorized by the Port District Act. It is run by a five-member commission. The commissioners' terms run four years. In 2005, the Port of Seattle was the 5th busiest port in North America by TEUs of container traffic [ [http://www.aapa-ports.org/files/Statistics/2005_NORTH_AMERICAN_CONTAINER_TRAFFIC.pdf NORTH_AMERICAN_CONTAINER_TRAFFIC] ] and the 46th busiest in the [ [http://www.aapa-ports.org/industryinfo/statistics.htm World statistics] ] .

Among its facilities are the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Washington; the Shilshole Bay Marina; the Maritime Industrial Center and Fishermen's Terminal on Salmon Bay; cargo terminals and a grain elevator on Smith Cove; and numerous cargo terminals on Elliott Bay, Harbor Island, and the Duwamish Waterway. The Port of Seattle also controls recreational and commercial moorage facilities and two cruise ship terminals.


From the first Commission Report for 1912: "The Port of Seattle came into existence on September 5, 1911, by a vote of the people of the Port District held on that date in accordance with the Port District Act of March 14, 1911. The work of the commission for the first six months was confined almost entirely to the preparation of projects which were duly approved by the people at a special election held on March 5, 1912. The program embraced six distinct projects..."

Current issues

Although the Port has done considerable good work, it has not been without controversy. Perhaps the longest-running battle was over the third runway for Sea-Tac, which is now nearing completion and expected to become operational next year.

There has been a surge in scandals and criticism during the past year or so. Among them are a quarter-million dollar severance package offered to the Port's former chief executive Mic Dinsmore, lax accounting practices found by state audits, and the discovery of pornographic and racist e-mails being exchanged by about a third of the Port's police force.

In addition, the Port has been involved in a complex and widely opposed proposal for a three-way trade in which it would purchase the Woodinville Subdivision, a railroad in Seattle's eastern suburbs, from BNSF Railway, its current owner, and then transfer it to King County who would remove the tracks and replace them with a bicycle trail. King County would then transfer its airport, Boeing Field, to the Port.

Thus, reform of the Port has become a major focal point of the platforms of some of the candidates competing for the two Port Commissioner positions in the coming November election. Among the reform proposals that are being advocated are increased transparency of operations and the gradual elimination of the property tax subsidy to the Port.

Another issue has been with the traffic amount of inbound container ships. While most of the Seattle area appears to have fared relatively well in the current economic state, the port has suffered the loss of a good portion of business from around the world. The repercussions of this can be seen from simple changes, such as the lack of hours to employ staff and associates. For example, many of the truck drivers who move containers from the port to area rail yards previously worked up to seven days per week. Currently they are getting paid for four or less. Seattle's port has suffered the loss of inbound shipments at a rate higher than all the west coast ports combined. The port is currently down eight percent year-to-date. While the rest of the west coast is down at 6.6%. Surprisingly the Port of Tacoma still manages to do better, as they are down less than one percent. [ [http://www.king5.com/video/?z=y&nvid=274640 KING-TV News Story on Port of Seattle] ]

Port management

List of Port Commissioners

"This list comes from a book published in 1976. Research ongoing for the rest of the names and terms."

*Hiram M. Chittenden - 1912-15
*C.E. Remsberg - 1912-19
*Robert Bridges - 1912-19
*Dr. Carl A. Ewald - 1915-19
*T.S. Lippy - 1918-21
*W.D. Lincoln - 1919-32
*Dr. W.T. Christensen - 1919-22
*George B. Lamping - 1921-33
*George F. Cotterill - 1922-34
*Smith M. Wilson - 1932-42
*Horace P. Chapman - 1933-47
*J.A. Earley - 1934-51
*E.H. Savage - 1942-58
*A.B. Terry - 1947-48
*Gordon Rowe - 1949-54
*C.H. Carlander - 1951-62
*M.J. Weber - 1954-60
*Capt. Tom McManus - 1958-64
*John M. Haydon - 1960-69
*Gordon Newell - 1960-63
*Frank R. Kitchell - 1961-73
*Miner H. Baker - 1963-69
*Robert W. Norquist - 1963-69
*Merle D. Adlum - 1964-
*J. Knox Woodruff - 1969-73
*Fenton Radford - 1969-70
*Paul S. Friedlander - 1970-
*Henry L. Kotkins - 1970-
*Jack S. Block - 1974-
*Henry T. Simonson - 1974-

General Managers

*J.R. West - 1933-1935
*Col. W.C. Bickford - 1935-1945
*Col. Warren D. Lamport - 1946-1951
*George T. Tredwell - 1951-1953
*Howard M. Burke - 1953-1964
*J. Eldon Opheim - 1964-


External links

* [http://www.portseattle.org/ Port of Seattle] homepage


* [http://lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us/departures/Seattle/10/36views.html 36 Views of Seattle Grain Terminal]
* [http://www.portseattle.org/news/imagelibrary.shtml Port of Seattle Image Library]

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