I am writing to encourage you to vote for Patrick McGee as No. 2 Port commissioner. He offers solutions for six main issues the Port commissioners need to address.

1. Dredging is his priority. He suggests that time is up - the Port should devote whatever money it has, and people it takes, to work with the state and any other agencies affecting our waterways to decide, and act on that decision.

2. He wants an outside, impartial audit of Port business. This way the new board will start up knowing exactly where they stand, and public trust can be restored.

3. He believes the Port needs to clarify its vision and set specific long-range goals to obtain that vision. He suggests that the Gateway Plan be extended all the way to the port. The plan outlines laws, inspections, designs, and land use. He holds the port's mission statement as a viable, working statement.

4. He envisions a working Port, not a business park. He thinks that the Port should be attracting new marine businesses, not moving local businesses a few blocks closer to the port.

5. He suggests that the Port commissioners consider ways to accommodate the huge ships that go past our lower Columbia region. He suggests that the Port initiate forming a Lower Columbia Port Coalition made up of many river Port communities. The Port of Astoria would supply docking and loading of large ships so they do not have to continue more than 125 miles further, and Lower Columbia Coalition "transfer fleets" would carry the cargo upriver or downriver.

6. He proposes that the issue of liquefied natural gas in the area be put to a county vote. He further proposes that the Port commissioners, with this public mandate, notify the state and its representatives of the county's decision. Because Congress is considering a power shift from federal to local in final decisions about LNG use, this Port action will be influential. He is against LNG because of his concern over its effects on safety, shipping, fishing and the environment.

McGee's suggestions reveal a person who cares about our area, tries to find constructive solutions and has the vision. His 40-year career in construction, design and management industries, both local and national, provides him with the skills and experience to successfully work as county Port commissioner. Vote for McGee.

Claudia Harper



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