Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What is the Port of Seattle thinking? | Sound Economy with Jon Talton | The Seattle Times

The Port has decided that the Port CEO has complied with the Port ethics rules, so says the Port.

Insular in just this case, or is this the nature of the Port overall?
I think that independant observation of this particular instance should have been use, and possibly the entire Port.

If so much depends on the Port and they do not appear to be building their business case for the future on facts, and their internal decisions are judged by their being a law, or not, then maybe it's time the public had an independant advocate evaluate the Port.

What are the port leaders, and specifically Yoshitani, a smart and capable man, thinking? The seaport has just suffered the loss of a major portion of its container business, with the move of the Grand Alliance to Tacoma. In the dispute over the horrid conditions facing drayage truck drivers, a shameful example of the exploitation of "independent contractors," the port came off as insensitive and out of touch. Meanwhile, the Century Agenda, while a fine aspirational document, still lacks specifics about how the seaport will face growing competitive threats. Among them: the wider Panama Canal, Prince Rupert and Tacoma. Amid all this, the port chose a very public battle against the proposed Sonics arena, as if it's an "either/or" choice, rather than working constructively behind the scenes to ensure improved infrastructure and protection of industrial zoning. These challenges wouldn't seem to leave much "on his own time" time for Yoshitani to be moonlighting.

It would be harsh to wonder if Yoshitani sees disarray and dysfunction at his employer and has decided to cash in while he can. But people are wondering just that. It's time for the port to remember, as it parses "conflicts of interest," that it serves the public interest.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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