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I have read that the Port Townsend city council knows more than we do and has for awhile now. They have an obligation to share what they know. They created this PUBLIC entity but like to keep their hands clean by professing the same mock outrage as the Authority treasurer and leadership. If groups didn’t know you should have. When you have the word PUBLIC in you name you don’t get to shade or hide the truth. Instead your allegiance has been to what you call stakeholders.

Given all your experience in tourism you couldn’t see the Fort as anything else. Rob Birman’s suggestion that maybe we have enough tourist beds in town already at private hotels and motels. You accepted $150,000 from the County, on the cities recommendation, to refurbish a building to create 15 beds for seasonal employees who can’t work there in the summer because they can’t afford market rate. Nobody has answered the fundamental question which is why aren’t existing local residents fill those jobs and wouldn’t the county have been doing more good by spending that money on public infrastructure to house our residents who lack housing. It seems like summer workers from outside the county is your priority despite your assertion you are doing this for the community. Which community?

Oh that’s right we don’t know because you don’t like to discuss these things publicly. A public appointee or elected official should be serving the general public and not a clique of economic interests. The silly notion of creating a four employee holding company to contract with a private non profit will merely add a quarter million dollars to your costs. I guess the idea is that you need to rearrange the deck chairs hoping nobody would notice and imprudent lenders will shovel bad money after good money. Desperation and panic are no way to wisely move forward. Give us a break and take a break. Your stakeholders will survive.

You could survive on market rent paid by the organizations who you have located there and their presence is your remaining important responsibility. Instead you spend millions on a pie in the sky vision totally dependent on more and more tourists when the future is going to have less and less of them. Habits and pursuits are changing and a post pandemic economy will will need to observe and respond to those changes. Fort Worden State Park will be there for a long time so quit frightening people by implying that if you fail Fort Worden will fail.

The state is needed to complete an audit you didn’t do and now we need them to save us from our own creation. The only failure was your clumsy and irresponsible way of serving the public by withholding information from the public and your inept attempt using public money to play with your tourism toys on behalf I guess of what you call your stakeholders. You hold the reins and the responsibility and instead you let others pull your chain on their operate like dark money is OK.

Who donated $200,000 to you if it happened and are there any terms. You are not legally, ethically or financially allowed to keep secrets any longer. Continuing the charade could result in more serious consequences than public dismay and distrust. You have public responsibilities and you need to recognize that though I think if we are patient the state is likely to impose that on you whether your stakeholders like it or not. The problem is that in the meantime you want to ramp up quickly and risk losing even more public money and credibility. We need to make sure the State Parks board and the Governor are fully aware of the likely community reaction if they try to make a sweetheart deal with a public resource and asset.

From: Details needed on new structure for PDA | Letter to the editor

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