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Patton vies for Port of Coupeville seat

By NATHAN WHALEN
Whidbey Examiner Staff
May 18, 2013 · Updated 3:56 PM
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Jim Patton / Nathan Whalen photo

It looks like Jim Patton can’t get enough of the Port of Coupeville.

Around the time he finishes his tenure as the executive director of the small port district, he will find out if voters want him to serve on its board of commissioners.

The longtime executive director Monday afternoon filed for candidacy for a spot on the three-member elected body. Incumbent Benye Weber isn’t able to run for a third term because redistricting in the wake of the 2010 census moved her home into a different district. She had also stated she didn’t want to serve another six-year term anyway.

Patton, who has served for eight-and-a-half years as executive director, said he wants to continue Weber’s work she’s tackled serving the Port of Coupeville.

“I have been completely in awe of her ability to stay on message,” Patton said.

He noted that a comprehensive plan for the Port of Coupeville, a master site plan for the Greenbank Farm and a conservation easement for the Greenbank Farm have been completed during Weber’s tenure on the port commission.

Patton also said there is more work that needs to be done. He noted that the solar project at the Greenbank Farm remains incomplete and port leaders are still sorting out the transition plan over how the publicly owned farm will be managed once the current arrangement with the Greenbank Farm Management Group expires.

He also said it will be very “tricky” to continue oversight of both the Coupeville Wharf and Greenbank Farm while being funded by a tax levy.

“I want to help out,” Patton said.

Commissioners will talk next month about how to go about replacing Patton as executive director, which is a position Patton plans to resign from at the end of 2013.

He said it is time to find a new executive director who would provide a fresh set of eyes and energy to his position.

Patton isn’t the only person who is running for a seat on the Port of Coupeville.

Mike Diamanti filed to run for the vacant seat commissioners appointed him to last week. He takes over for Laura Blankenship, who resigned in April after serving a bit more than one year on the commission.

 

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