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January 29, 2013 at 4:25 PM

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Job open: Port of Seattle commissioner

Here is an opportunity for someone with maritime, aviation, trade, real estate or labor or political background and who lives in King County. A seat is open on the five-member Port of Seattle Commission to replace Gael Tarleton, who resigned after being elected as a Democrat to the state House of Representatives.

The Port of Seattle owns Seattle’s waterfront cargo terminals, Fisherman’s Terminal, Shilshole Marina and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It is a large publicly owned enterprise with the social goal of fostering trade and creating employment. Port commissioner is a job something like being a corporate director and something like being on a city council. It is part-time and the pay is not enough to live on, but it is interesting work to the right sort of mind, it benefits the community, and occasionally, as in Gael Tarleton's case, it can be a stepping stone to higher office.

The usual way to get this job is to run for election county-wide, without political party identification, which requires some name recognition and raising money. Here is an easy shot. For now, the seat is being filled by appointment from the other four commissioners: Bill Bryant, John Creighton, Rob Holland and Tom Albro. The appointee becomes the incumbent and should have an advantage in money-raising and public visibility in November.

Applicants should get their applications in by noon, Friday, Feb. 1. Commissioner Albro said the commission will choose 20 semifinalists by Feb. 5, reduce it to six or fewer by Feb. 14, have them appear at public forums on Feb. 26 and 27, and make the appointment March 5.

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