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Mooney appointed to port board

“To pick a peck of pickled peppers ...”

William Mooney of Tracyton has been appointed by Kitsap County Commissioners as port commissioner, District 1, on the Tracyton Port Board.

He joins Gary Keenan, District 2, as the second county commissioner-appointed port commissioner on the three-member port board, one of the smallest voting districts in the county.

Walt Fitzpatrick, the last voter-installed port commissioner, was ousted by Keenan early this month for missing more than 60 days of meetings — but he, Fitzpatrick, refuses to go, and considers all county commissioner appointments invalid.

With Fitzpatrick’s ouster recognized by county commissioners and the county auditor, Karen Flynn, commissioner candidate Pat Wright will be appointed next — filling Fitzpatrick’s slot, District 3.

Since Keenan is expected to be out-of-town at the next regular meeting of the port board — Aug. 14 — and with Mooney being the only bona fide commissioner present, Wright will not be appointed at that time. He will have to either wait until Keenan returns — so he can be appointed by a port quorum of Mooney and Keenan — or wait to be appointed by county commissioners.

If Wright makes it in, this would make three appointed commissioners on a board designed for three voter-elected commissioners. (With a fourth voter-elected ex-commissioner insisting he’s the only legitimate Tracyton Port commissioner.)

Flynn said the three (Keenan, Mooney and Wright) will be commissioners in every sense, but still must be confirmed by the electorate at the soonest election.

All but Keenan have confirmed they’ll be at the port’s next meeting, 7 p.m., Aug. 14, a Thursday: Mooney as the single commissioner obliged to close the meeting after he opens it due to lack of a quorum; Wright as an observer; and Fitzpatrick attempting to run the meeting as commissioner, self-declared president and chairman.

At the last meeting, July 31, then-commissioner Fitzpatrick and new Commissioner Keenan held simultaneous meetings at the same time and place, the Tracyton Library lawn (they’d been locked out for not paying the rent). They conducted their respective meetings, talking over each other, until both quit due to lack of a quorum.

Ironically, according to Washington State meetings laws, they did have a quorum July 31 — but Fitzpatrick claimed Keenan’s appointment was illegal, and Keenan claimed Fitzpatrick’s position had expired.

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