Fort Worden PDA: No one is perfect | Letter to the editor

Posted 4/8/21

“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 …

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Fort Worden PDA: No one is perfect | Letter to the editor


“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.

David King


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David King? As in appointed Mayor as the FWPDA was being formed after previous Appointed Mayor Sandoval and Timmons did the leg work? If so, the revisionists sir, are you and yours. "Partners" (special interests) are and were out of compliance with the MOU with the State, and still are not paying their fair share, due to Robeson and Board . The State questioned that before Covid. Revisionists ignore that. Revisionists "forget" that the FWPDA wanted full title to all of Fort Worden. Revisionists ignore audit failures not acted on.

I was just given the inside story of the land the Maritime Center is on. Back stabbing by the City at a midnight Council meeting, causing great loss to individuals who's retirement hinged on selling the land. Robeson had many critics of his methods there, including past Council Alan Frank. He always said "follow the money".

I know first hand that Timmons destroyed polite community and business access by ignoring parking studies and ending all enforcement. That benefits Appointed Mayor Sandoval's industry, Real Estate, that produces nothing. Others in comments this week note Timmons other failures, that cripple this town to this day. Now he is a Fort Worden. Playing his shell game. David King approves.

I still post Timmons email from several years ago now and then, promising some parking fairness and reform. Nothing happened. Nothing will happen. I am advised to keep things short or I would go into Robeson. Anyone but an insider would understand that we (all the people of the State) have not had the best people looking out for Fort Worden.

Now as insiders wave the FWPDA flag, the public according to Leader letters are starting to push back. History, if not deleted, will show all players parts, and warnings about some individuals. The Appointed Mayor at the time the FWPDA took over what belongs to all of the people of the State will obviously have his perspective, and legacy, to believe.

Not that David King??? Please forgive me..

Thursday, April 8
Gregg Knowles

I'm not a fan of the three Daves ( Robinson Timmons and King) not because they weren't good public servants but because the Dave's spent millions of public and private investment without the promised public benefit. If the Maritime center had gone private it would be refilling the coffers that the public funds come from. The PDA lead by Robinson and under the not to watchful eyes of King and Timmons a the Cherry street project under Timmons and King are not "the measured risk in pursuit of a sustainable resilient future" that I would envision. If your going to gamble with public money you better deliver.

Monday, April 12