Port of Walla Walla Commission Vice President
Mike Fredrickson, President Ron Dunning and
Secretary Peter Swant in the lobby at Walla Walla
Regional Airport. (Photo by Keith Crain)
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 other facilities 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.
- Acquire, 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.
The Port of Walla Walla has three elected
Commissioners who represent you, the shareholders. Commissioners are now Ron Dunning, President; Mike Fredrickson, Vice President; and Peter Swant, Secretary.
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, is co-owner of Touchet Seed & Energy, an oil-seed crusher for biofuels, and 51 East Main, a downtown Walla Walla commercial property.
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, including the eastern third of the City of Walla Walla, Dixie, Waitsburg and Prescott.
Swant, a real estate agent for Windermere Real Estate, represents District 1, encompassing more than half of the City of Walla Walla.
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 be President, Vice President and Secretary.
Port of Walla Walla Commissioners, and those at other Ports with similar business volume, are entitled to $114 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 $10,944 per year in such compensation.
In addition, Port Commissioners receive a salary of $750 per month.
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 16 percent of its revenues from property taxes.
Washington State law provides for Port
Commissioners to delegate 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.