Port of Seattle

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Port of Seattle
Port of Seattle Logo.svg
Formation September 5, 1911
Type Port authority
Headquarters 2711 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121
Region served Seattle Metropolitan Area
King County
Chief Executive Officer Tay Yoshitani
Main organ Port of Seattle Commission
Website http://www.portofseattle.org
Port of Seattle
Coast Guard ISC
A ship at Pier 86 Grain Terminal
Grain Terminal Sign
A container ship and the Bainbridge Island ferry near Terminal 46
Plaque for salmon net pens, joint project between Port of Seattle and Muckleshoot and Suquamish Indian tribes
View of restaurant cafe and adjacent marina along Alaskan Way, Seattle waterfront
Ship Angela from Panama taking on grain at Pier 86 Grain Terminal

The Port of Seattle is a port district that runs Seattle's seaport and airport. Its creation was approved by the voters of King County, Washington, on September 5, 1911, and authorized by the Port District Act. It is run by an elected five-member commission.[1] The commissioners' terms run four years. In 2011, Sea-Tac Airport handled a record 32.8 million passengers[2] and the seaport division handled just over two million containers (TEUs), making it the 14th largest port in North America and the 57th largest in the world.[3] In 2011, over 885,000 cruise passengers passed through the port's facilities.[4]

Port activities generate 194,000 jobs in Washington state.[5]

The port has three operating divisions (Aviation, Real Estate and Seaport), as well as capital development and corporate divisions.[6]

Among its facilities are the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Washington; the Shilshole Bay Marina; the Maritime Industrial Center and Fishermen's Terminal on Salmon Bay; cargo terminals and a grain elevator on Smith Cove; and numerous cargo terminals on Elliott Bay, Harbor Island, and the Duwamish Waterway. The Port of Seattle also controls recreational and commercial moorage facilities and two cruise ship terminals.

History[edit]

The Port of Seattle celebrated its centennial in 2011. To mark the anniversary, the organization created a historical website filled with photos and information about the port's and the region's history.

From the first Commission Report for 1912: The Port of Seattle came into existence on September 5, 1911, by a vote of the people of the Port District held on that date in accordance with the Port District Act of March 14, 1911. The work of the commission for the first six months was confined almost entirely to the preparation of projects which were duly approved by the people at a special election held on March 5, 1912. A Porsche 959 was stored for 13 years by the Customs Service at the Port of Seattle, until regulations were changed to allow Autos of Interest to be imported with severe limitations on their use.[7] Gates and Allen both helped pass the "Show and Display" law.[7][8]

On October 7, 2014, the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma announced an agreement to "jointly market and operate the marine terminals of both ports as a single entity," though they were not merging.[9]

Current issues[edit]

Recent years have brought significant changes to the Port of Seattle. In 2007, Tay Yoshitani joined the organization as CEO.[10] Just after his tenure began, two significant scandals occurred. The port police department uncovered a significant problem with racist and pornographic emails.[11] After the hiring of a new chief,[12] the organization began to regain its footing, only to be thrust in the spotlight again by former CEO Mic Dinsmore, who claimed a sizable severance had been authorized by the commission. The organization refused to pay and the claim was dropped, though the situation led to an attempted recall of one commissioner.[13]

Finally, in December of that year, the State Auditor's Office issued a critical report on the port's contracting practices (particularly those related to construction of the third runway).[14] The audit report sparked an investigation by the Department of Justice, which was later closed without action.[15]

Newly elected commissioners and CEO Yoshitani implemented a series of reforms, including increased commission oversight of port construction projects and consolidation of the organization's procurement activities into one division to afford better control.

Yoshitani also brought a heightened commitment to environmental practices.[citation needed] The port has many environmental programs, including shore power for cruise ships and a plan to clean up the Lower Duwamish Waterway (in partnership with Boeing, King County, and the City of Seattle).[16]

But increased container and cruise traffic have increased community concerns, just as the new runway did.[citation needed]

In 2012, port commissioners began outreach on the Century Agenda,[17] a strategic plan for the port's next 25 years.[18]

In 2012, the Port became one of the most vocal opponents of the proposal to build a new arena in the Sodo neighborhood.[19]

View of the port from the Space Needle

Port management[edit]

Current Port Commissioners[edit]

Position 1: John Creighton, elected 2005[20]
Position 2: Courtney Gregoire, appointed 2013[21]
Position 3: Stephanie Bowman, appointed 2013[22]
Position 4: Tom Albro, elected 2009[22]
Position 5: Bill Bryant, elected 2007[21]

List of Port Commissioners[edit]

This list comes from a book published in 1976. Research ongoing for the rest of the names and terms.

  • Hiram M. Chittenden - 1912-15
  • C.E. Remsberg - 1912-19
  • Robert Bridges - 1912-19
  • Dr. Carl A. Ewald - 1915-19
  • T.S. Lippy - 1918-21
  • W.D. Lincoln - 1919-32
  • Dr. W.T. Christensen - 1919-22
  • George B. Lamping - 1921-33
  • George F. Cotterill - 1922-34
  • Smith M. Wilson - 1932-42
  • Horace P. Chapman - 1933-47
  • J.A. Earley - 1934-51
  • E.H. Savage - 1942-58
  • A.B. Terry - 1947-48
  • Gordon Rowe - 1949-54
  • C.H. Carlander - 1951-62
  • M.J. Weber - 1954-60
  • Capt. Tom McManus - 1958-64
  • John M. Haydon - 1960-69
  • Gordon Newell - 1960-63
  • Frank R. Kitchell - 1961-73
  • Miner H. Baker - 1963-69
  • Robert W. Norquist - 1963-69
  • Merle D. Adlum - 1964-
  • J. Knox Woodruff - 1969-73
  • Fenton Radford - 1969-70
  • Paul S. Friedlander - 1970-
  • Henry L. Kotkins - 1970-
  • Jack S. Block - 1974-
  • Henry T. Simonson - 1974-

General Managers[edit]

  • J.R. West - 1933-1935
  • Col. W.C. Bickford - 1935-1945
  • Col. Warren D. Lamport - 1946-1951
  • George T. Treadwell - 1951-1953
  • Howard M. Burke - 1953-1964
  • J. Eldon Opheim - 1964-1977
  • Richard D. Ford - 1977-1985
  • James D. Dwyer - 1985-1988
  • Zeger van Asch van Wijck - 1989-1992
  • Mic R. Dinsmore - 1992-2007
  • Tay Yoshitani - 2007-

Seattle Tugs[edit]

Sister ports[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Port of Seattle at Wikimedia Commons

Photos[edit]

Archives[edit]

Coordinates: 47°36′50″N 122°21′15″W / 47.61388889°N 122.35416667°W / 47.61388889; -122.35416667