Port of Tracyton will add commish

Tracyton Port Commissioner Walter Fitzpatrick is going to have company.

Kitsap County Commissioners are scheduled to appoint a second Port of Tracyton Commissioner at their administrative meeting at 2 p.m., Monday, May 5.

The newly-appointed commissioner and Fitzpatrick will then appoint a third commissioner within 90 days.

Six people have applied for the position, but two were ineligible because they live in District 3, which Fitzpatrick represents. Districts 1 and 2 are up for grabs and four people are waiting in the wings.

Kay Baltz, Gary Keenan, Patrick Boyle and Kenneth Adkisson have applied for the position using the standard application for any county appointed boards.

“Things are moving along and I hope that they can be smoother than they have been in the past,” said Kitsap County Commissioner Patty Lent.

According to Lent the port district will hold elections this year not only for commissioners, but the port itself will be on the November ballot.

“It’s up to all the citizens to make that decision,” she said about keeping the port operatingor closing it.

While the Port of Tracyton goes to an official vote this fall, county officials have already tested the waters of public opinion at an April 15 hearing. The majority of the people there spoke in favor of keeping the port operating despite Fitzpatrick’s claims the port should have been dissolved years ago.

All four port commissioner candidates attended the meeting and three spoke in favor of keeping the port going.

Keenan, a Tracyton Water District commissioner, Baltz, and Adkisson, also of Tracyton Water District, wanted to see the port turn things around, while Boyle questioned whether the port has legal grounds to continue operating.

About 100 people attended the meeting and were encouraged to volunteer as a commissioner. The port is divided into three districts. District 1 has about 180 voters, District 2 has about 200, and District 3 has about 1,400.

According to the county assessor, the 2003 valuation of properties lying within the Port of Tracyton is $188,922,740, up $40,468,388 from $148,453,362 in 1999. No Port tax is being collected in 2003. In 2002, the District collected $10,494 from property taxes (0.0595 per thousand). In 2001, they collected $9,731 (0.0598 per thousand). In 2000, they got $9,731 (0.0598 per thousand), and in 1999 they collected $8,975 (0.0582 per thousand).

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