Port Structure

How Port Districts Are Governed

Port districts in Washington are unique: they are governed by an elected commission, independent of other local jurisdictions. Commissioners are elected to either four- or six-year terms; if there are five members of a commission, they hold office for four years. If there are three members, the term is six years. Commissioners may hold either district-specific or at-large positions, depending on port district policy.

Port commissions establish long-term strategies for a port district, and create policies to guide the development, growth, and operation of the port. They are also responsible for a port’s annual budgets, approving tax levy rates, and hiring the professional staff members responsible for a port’s daily functions.

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