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Who's who at the port?

William Mooney, right, addresses residents at Thursday’s port meeting as Walt Fitzpatrick, with sunglasses, looks on. - Photo by Jesse Beals
William Mooney, right, addresses residents at Thursday’s port meeting as Walt Fitzpatrick, with sunglasses, looks on.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Port commissioners past, present and contenders were at Thursday’s Tracyton Port meeting. But little more than arguing was accomplished in the 15 minutes.

Newly appointed port commissioner William Mooney, former commissioner Walt Fitzpatrick, and commissioner hopeful Pat Wright were there. As was County Commissioner Patty Lent and Tracyton residents. Sheriff’s deputies were also nearby.

“What are you doing here? I thought you’d been ousted?” said resident Roger Page to Fitzpatrick.

“It’s in dispute,” Fitzpatrick replied.

Mooney unlocked the Tracyton Library and all filed in — more than a dozen people. Mooney began to ask Fitzpatrick to go outside as he was seen as a disruption to the meeting. However, Fitzpatrick quickly called the meeting to order and started the Pledge of Allegiance. All stopped to recite the Pledge.

“Now we can get down to business,” said Mooney.

“Mr. Mooney, you’re out-of-order,” Fitzpatrick said.

The two argued, then Mooney decided holding the meeting outside was a better idea — there was more room.

But every time Mooney tried to say something, Fitzpatrick told him “You’re out-of-order,” louder and louder.

Mooney told Fitzpatrick he was moving the meeting down the side of the road, still in front of the library, and if Fitzpatrick followed, “I will consider it assault.”

“We must determine the status of Mr. (Gary) Keenan,” Fitzpatrick said. To this, Mooney said Keenan, the other county commissioners-appointed port commissioner, was still vacationing in Alaska, but would be back in time for a special meeting, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 27, at the library.

“At that time we will finally have a quorum (or majority) on the three-member board, and can resume port business.”

Mooney opened, then closed, the meeting due to lack of a quorum. Attendees went their separate ways.

In months past, Fitzpatrick, elected commissioner in 2000, found himself alone on the board as the other two commissioners dropped out. Using his interpretation of port bylaws, Fitzpatrick assumed the duties of president and called off all meetings for the rest of the year — due to lack of a quorum.

The port, created in 1928, has long suffered from a lack of quorum due to its small size. It was inactive for decades, but in recent years has accumulated $70,000 from property taxes. Fitzpatrick was trying to dissolve the port from within.

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