With Port on an Even Keel, Keep Bacon on Commission

By The News Tribune, July 15, 2013, The News Tribune

When things are going well, it’s not a good idea to rock the boat. That maritime analogy is appropriate to the Port of Tacoma commission race on the Aug. 6 primary ballot.

Although three port commissioners are up for election, only one drew opposition, four-term veteran Connie Bacon in Position 1. Commissioners Don Meyer and Dick Marzano are unopposed.

Running against Bacon are former Port of Tacoma security director Eric E. Holdeman of Puyallup and engineer Dave Dormier of Gig Harbor. The two top vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

The challengers are credible candidates, but we don’t think either would be a trade up from Bacon, who says this would be her last term if she’s re-elected. The former director of the World Trade Center Tacoma, Bacon has been part of a commission that has provided sound oversight of the port and is working to keep it competitive with other West Coast ports.

By most accounts, the Port of Tacoma is emerging well from the recession, with hiring and container shipments up. Just last year, the port lured the Grand Alliance shipping consortium from Seattle, a move that has added significant employment on the Tideflats.

One of Bacon’s two challengers, Holdeman, presents an unusual situation. Although he makes a plausible case for his candidacy, he lost his job at the port during an administration reorganization. Having him on the port commission – essentially providing oversight of his former employers – could be awkward.

Dormier, who has been active with the 26th District Republican Party, doesn’t have as strong a grasp on the issues facing the port as Bacon does. Voters should return her to the commission for a final term.

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