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Commissioner questions appointment of Bockus

POULSBO — Poulsbo Port Commissioner Jim Rutledge says public concerns expressed to him about the appointment of Arnie Bockus to the commission — one month after Rutledge defeated him for reelection — were not "adequately addressed.”

Rutledge plans on raising the issue again at the commission's next meeting, Feb. 2, 7 p.m. at the multipurpose room on Dock E. The meeting is open to the public.

Shortly after the Nov. 8 election, Commissioner Glenn Gilbert, Position 2, announced his resignation because of health problems. The port opened the application process for three weeks, inviting citizens of the port district to apply to be appointed for the remainder of Gilbert’s term. According to Port Manager Kirk Stickels, of the two applicants, one lived in Silverdale and was disqualified as living outside port boundaries; and the other applicant was outgoing Commissioner Bockus.

Commission Chairman Tony DeCarlo said when the situation arose, port officials contacted several state agencies and the port's attorney, Greg Norbut, to advise them if appointing Bockus was against the rules. They were advised Bockus could be appointed.

Dolores Gilmore, manager of the county’s elections office, told the Herald in November that the situation is unique, but not unlawful.

And DeCarlo said, “I thought we should start off the beginning of the year with a full commission and go from there."

In the Nov. 11 issue of the Herald, Rutledge said, “I think he [Bockus]’s an excellent choice to take over Commissioner Gilbert’s spot, and I would not anticipate any difficulty in working with him.”

In other matters, the commission is altering its schedule for winter, based on low attendance in past years. The commission will meet the first Thursday of the month.

Also on the port's plate: The C Dock ramp project. In order to better serve boaters, the port will replace the landing float and the steel ramp to accommodate additional sewer pump-out. Stickels said the port received a $35,000 grant from Washington State Parks to put in the new sewer lines, and an approximate $80,000 grant from the Department of Ecology for the new ramp.

 

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