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Two incumbent Port of Tacoma commissioners say they’re running for office again

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on April 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm with No Comments »
April 25, 2013 3:25 pm

Two incumbent Port of Tacoma commissioners say they’re gearing up to run for re-election.

Both commission President Don Meyer and longtime Commissioner Dick Marzano said this week they’ve decided to seek another four-year term.

Dick Marzano
Dick Marzano
Don Meyer
Don Meyer

They’ll join port commissioner Connie Bacon in once again seeking office. No opponents have yet announced they will run against the incumbent commissioners.

Marzano, a longshoreman and former president of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 23, has been a commission member since 1995.

Meyer, a former port deputy director and the retired executive director of the Foss Waterway Development Authority,  is completing his first term this year.

Both Meyer and Marzano said their experience with dealing with waterfront development and employment makes them good candidates to continue their tenure.

The port has enjoyed a revival in business in the last two years.  When the recession hit, the port  saw container traffic fall by some 25 percent, but the port has attracted new shipping lines, shipyards and other businesses in recent months that have restored  port growth.

Meyer said he believes its important for the port to remain ready to accommodate the newest ships and technologies if it wants to remain competitive in the years to come.

The Blair Waterway, the port’s main watery arterial, should be significantly widened to handle the larger vessels  now being built in Asian shipyards, said Meyer.

While some of the automated technology being employed by some ports may not be suitable for Tacoma because of the layout of shipping terminals here, the port should keep its focus on making its facilities efficient and cost-effective, said Marzano.

Both commissioners said the port’s highway and rail connections should be enhanced to ensure unimpeded access from the agricultural areas of Eastern Washington, but also from the nation’s larger urban markets.

In the near future, the port is likely to heightened competition not only from other West Coast ports, but also from East Coast ports that will take advantage of a larger Panama Canal and from Canadian ports such as Prince Rupert that offer low-cost rail connections to the U.S. Midwest, the two candidates said.



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