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Poulsbo lawyer expresses interest in serving on Poulsbo Port Commission

POULSBO — Stephen L. Swann, a Poulsbo lawyer, has submitted a letter to the Port of Poulsbo expressing interest in serving on the commission should a position open.

Swann's letter comes after a state attorney general’s opinion that Commissioner Arnie Bockus could not have been appointed to a vacancy representing Position 2 before his term as Position 3 representative had expired. In addition, the Herald – which endorsed Bockus in the Nov. 8 general election – has said he should resign and the appointment be redone. In two editorials, the Herald cited a 1909 court ruling that bars Bockus from voting on his own appointment, and another state law requiring the position be filled by the County Commission.

At the port commission meeting Monday, Bockus showed no signs of resigning. The issue didn’t come up. Bockus shook the Herald editor’s hand and said, “Good editorials.” He participated in discussions about the port’s comprehensive plan. And after the meeting, Bockus and Commissioner Tony DeCarlo chatted in the parking lot — risky, since two of three commissioners constitutes a quorum and members of three-member boards usually avoid private discussions to avoid the appearance of discussing public business outside of public meetings.

Swann said he’s aware of the dust-up over Bockus’ appointment but it has nothing to do with his letter; he said he moved here 4.5 months ago from Arlington, Va., and wants to get involved in the community. He’s a lawyer and a retired Coast Guard officer. He lives on the 18000 block of Fjord Drive. He’s also a sailor and kayaker.

Of Bockus’ appointment, he said, “I’m aware of the issues. I don’t know the players. It’s become quite emotional, and I’m not sure if there’s objectivity at this point.”

 

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