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Jack Jolley: Port Commission #4, Seattle

When a former Microsoft assistant treasurer runs for a job paying $6,000 a year, he’s bound to give the initial impression of contriving to remake government in his own image. Jolley does in fact have a bold agenda to change the Port’s way of doing business, but fortunately this plan would create symbiotic environmental and economic initiatives that could make Seattle’s port the model of sustainable industry that it should be.

Jolley is a long-time member of Long Live the Kings, an organization dedicated to preserving wild salmon, and is of the social milieu that composts, waters with soaker hoses, and abhors pesticides. Jolley’s environmental stewardship of his own half-acre seems to have also pervaded his vision for the Port.

To Jolley, the Port’s financial dealings and environmental goals should all be part of the same business plan. For example, he suggests that the Port aggressively encourage vessels to cut emissions through biofuels and more efficient engines, helping to precipitate emissions controls at other ports that will ultimately make lower-emitting vessels cheaper to operate. He says the Port could partner with local businesses to demonstrate the cost savings of cleaner fuels. Jolley says new efficiencies in Port operations will both reduce pollution and save costs that can help put the Port in the black, making it easier to fund environmental programs. He says the Port ought to improve its dock to road to rail connections during the replacement phase of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, allowing more containers to move by rail rather than trucks. Jolley plans to work with state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (36th Legislative District) in the next legislative session to lobby for stronger laws restricting the dumping of bilge water in Puget Sound. He also says he’ll invite environmental organizations to help monitor the Port’s toxic runoff, particularly around the new third runway.

He is an advocate for more openness in Port operations and indicates that he sees Alec Fisken (whom we endorsed two years ago) as an ally. He’s already raised $133,281, beating incumbent Pat Davis’ $86,280; that, plus his significant personal wealth, suggest he can run a strong campaign.