Port looking to fill commissioner vacancy

Port of Coupeville commissioners are deciding how to fill a to-be vacant seat after District 1 Commissioner William Bell announced his resignation at a port meeting Wednesday.

Bell’s last day is March 30 and the remaining two commissioners will have 90 days to fill the position. Commissioners and staff remarked Wednesday the decision is made difficult given this is the first time in a number of years that more than one person has shown interest.

Port Executive Director Chris Michalopoulos told commissioners they have two options once Bell leaves: they can appoint someone who lives in the district to serve as an interim until the November election or they can post the position and go through a public interview process.

Michalopoulos recommended appointing Rodger Eelkema, a Coupeville resident who has expressed interest. He said opening up the process would delay the outcome.

Commissioner Mohammad Mostafavinassab said Michalopoulos was “putting the cart in front of the horse” and that the public should be aware there’s an opening before they choose someone to fill it.

“I think it needs to be fair; we need to be honest and upfront,” Mostafavinassab said.

Former port executive director David Day said at the meeting he’d like to be considered for the position. A new commissioner can’t be chosen until after Bell’s last day.

Commissioners John Mishasek and Mostafavinassab said they would make a decision on how to proceed at the April 10 meeting.

Information about the port and its district boundaries can be found at portoc.org

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