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Port rivals Seattle and Tacoma meet with governor. Was detente on the agenda?

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Sep. 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
September 26, 2012 4:50 pm

In their first meeting since Tacoma lured one of the Port of Seattle’s biggest customers to the City of Destiny, Seattle and Tacoma port executives and commissioners met with Gov. Chris Gregoire Wednesday in Olympia.

Did the discussion touch the subject of the cutthroat competition between the two ports? We’re still waiting to hear reports back from the session.

Officially, at least, the meeting’s agenda appeared tame enough.

Gregoire spokeswoman Karina Shagren said the meeting was called to update the governor’s office on maritime matters of concern to both major harbors and smaller state ports.

Port of Tacoma spokeswoman Tara Mattina said several port executives attended the meeting along with commissioners. She said the agenda called for an reports on the progress of the port solving infrastructure issues that impeded its competitive stance.

At the Port of Seattle spokesman Peter McGraw said Gregoire was seeking to help her successor set an agenda for the Legislature in the next session to help the ports remain competitive.

In a letter from Gregoire to the ports, the governor said she wanted to know what infrastructure improvements would enhance Washington’s standing versus its competitors along the West Coast and in Canada.

We’ll be checking with those who attended to see if the discussion wandered from the official agenda to the issue of detente. In past years, the two ports have put on a good public face for cooperation while behind the scenes the rivalry has gone unabated.

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