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Port Responsibilities

Public port districts are authorized by state law to undertake many activities to enhance the economic welfare of local communities. These regulations authorize the Port of Walla Walla to:

  • Develop waterfronts, airports and otherfacilities for handling cargo and passengers.
  • Provide capital improvements needed for industrial and manufacturing facilities within the Port District.
  • Improve Port District lands so they can be sold or leased for industrial and commercial use.
  • Aquire, construct, install, improve and operate sewer and water utilities to serve its own properties and that of other property owners.
  • Execute business recruitment strategies.
  • Levy taxes and sell bonds to develop properties and manufacturing facilities.

Port Leadership

The Port of Walla Walla has three elected commissioners who represent you...the shareholders. The commissioners are Mike Fredrickson, president; Ron Dunning, secretary; and Paul Schneidmiller, vice president. While all commissioners are elected on a county-wide basis, each must live in a specific commissioner district within Walla Walla County. The districts are the same as Walla Walla county commissioner districts.
Dunning is owner of Dunning Irrigation in Touchet and is co-owner of Touchet Seed & Energy, an oil-seed crusher for biofuels. He represents District 3, including College Place, Touchet, Lowden, Burbank, Eureka, Clyde and the western part of the county.
Fredrickson, managing member of Associated Appraisers of Walla Walla LLC, represents District 2, which includes the eastern third of the City of Walla Walla, Dixie, Waitsburg and Prescott.

Port of Walla Walla Commission President
Mike Fredrickson, Secretary Ron Dunning and Vice President Paul Schneidmiller in the lobby at Walla Walla Regional Airport. (Photo by Brian Gaines)

Schneidmiller, president of World Wide TravelService, Inc., represents District 1, which encompasses more than half the City of Walla Walla and the Stateline area.
Each commissioner serves a six-year term. Terms are staggered so that one position is up for election every two years.
Commissioners decide each year who will hold the offices of president, vice president and secretary.
Port of Walla Walla Commissioners, and those at other Ports with similar business volume, are entitled to $104 per day compensation for each day or portion of a day spent attending meetings or performing other services on behalf of the Port District.

The law prohibits commissioners from receiving more than $9,984 per year in such compensation. In addition, Port Commissioners receive a salary of up to $750 per month.

Port Finances

Ports may levy, without a public vote, a property tax of no more than 45-cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation for general Port purposes.

The Port District receives only 22 percent of its revenues from property taxes.
Washington State law provides for Port Commissioners to designate administrative powers
and duties to the managing official of the Port District. This is done with a Port Commission resolution establishing guidelines and procedures for the managing official to follow.
In that manner, the Executive Director and his or her staff can perform their duties in a timely and efficient manner. Still, as policy makers, Port Commissioners remain responsible for district operations.
Regular Port of Walla Walla Commission meetings are at 6:00 p.m. on the second Thursday and 1:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Port office.

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