“The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.” Though nobody’s bones are getting interred over the troubles at the Fort Worden PDA, they have …
“The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.” Though nobody’s bones are getting interred over the troubles at the Fort Worden PDA, they have spawned a flurry of revisionist attacks on Dave Robison and David Timmons. As the two Daves were important mentors for my public service efforts in Port Townsend, I want to comment.
Without the efforts of Dave Robison and David Timmons, there would be no Northwest Maritime Center anchoring our waterfront today. I am generally wary of “but for” narratives, and many, many people have contributed to the NWMC’s extraordinary story. Some of those contributions have been critically important. Yet, from the “midnight moratorium” that preserved the site from private development, to the $1 million purchase of a public easement that enabled both buildings to be constructed, but for Dave and David the old Thomas Oil site would now be a private development, or still be a brownfield site.
The preservation of Fort Worden is a similar story. At the very least, but for the efforts of Dave and David, Fort Worden would have been lost to local community control.
And, with their track records for securing funding, Dave and David can justly take credit for attracting millions of dollars of public and private investment to our community.
No one is perfect. I remember watching the Cherry Street project offloading from its barge and wondering how it would play out. And, as a public/private hybrid, PDAs can be troubled. (Look at the history of Pike Place Market.) But they can adjust and endure. We’ll see.
Given the future we face, we’ll need innovating leaders willing to take on measured risks in pursuit of a sustainable and resilient future. For my part, every day I enjoy living in the community that the two Davids had the skills and the courage to preserve and improve. And I’m proud to be a member of the community that gave them that chance.