On Wednesday, October 28, 2021 Commissioner Robert Larson announced his retirement from the Port of Benton Commission where he serves in District 2. Revised Code of Washington Chapter 42.12 sets forth the appointment process for filling vacancies of nonpartisan elected offices.
The following applicants were selected by the Port of Benton Commission to advance to a Final Interview on Monday, November 29, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.
Applicants are listed in the order their application was received:
Candidate Interview Process
The candidates will be interviewed one at a time, in-person, by the Commission beginning at 8:30 a.m. PST. The other candidates will wait in the lobby. We anticipate each interview to last approximately 30-45 minutes. Candidates will have the chance to ask questions of the Commission. The public will be able to watch the interviews via Zoom. Once all candidates have been interviewed, the Commission will go into Executive Session pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(h) to discuss the qualifications of the candidates, and will then re-open the meeting to the public to select which candidate will fill the vacant commission seat.
Application and Supplemental
Information for Appointment
Port of Benton Commissioner District 2
Thank you for your interest in serving as a Commissioner for the Port of Benton. The position vacancy is for District 2 and must be filled by a resident of District 2; residency requirements must be met by the time of appointment to the commission. To be considered, your application must be submitted in-person (in a sealed envelope) at 3250 Port of Benton, Richland, WA 99354 or by email to email@example.com no later than 12:00 p.m. on Friday, November 19, 2021. Applications received after 12:00 pm will not be accepted. Additional written information after this date will not be accepted, unless requested by the Port of Benton Commission.
In-Person Application: Delivery of applications in-person must be received between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday (OR) between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Friday, with the last opportunity to submit in-person at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, November 19, 2021.
Emailed Application: Applications submitted by email must be received by email at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, November 19, 2021. If submitting by email, all included attachments must not exceed 10MB total and be formatted as a PDF, DOC, or DOCX file type. Please attach your application and supporting materials to an email and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To verify whether you reside in District 2, please view the map at www.portofbenton.com/commissionmap. In addition to residency in District 2 you must be a current registered voter in Benton County.
The Port Commission will review all applications for content and for completeness. The Commission will, at a special commission meeting on November 22, 2021, review applications and narrow the pool down to a handful of finalists. The exact number of finalists selected will be at the discretion of the Commission. The Port Commission will interview each finalist, in open session, on November 29, 2021. The questions to be asked of the finalists will not be provided in advance.
The individual appointed to fill the vacant District 2 seat shall hold office until the November 2023 General Election.
To be eligible to be appointed to the Port of Benton Commission, you:
- Must be a resident within District 2 (click here to lookup your district) of the Port of Benton district boundaries; and
- Must be a registered voter in Benton County.
Please Note that:
- Once a Commissioner application is filed with the Port of Benton, it is a public record available to the public per RCW 42.56.
- The applications received from all candidates who meet the minimum requirements of state law, along with the answers to the supplemental questions, may be posted on the Port of Benton’s website the week of the final interviews.
- If appointed, you will be required by state law to file financial disclosure statements with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission (www.pdc.wa.gov).
The Port of Benton is a municipal corporation which exercises local governmental powers. The Port has a three-member Commission which acts as the Port’s policy making and regulatory body. The Commission duties include adopting a plan for harbor improvements, creating industrial development districts, establishing lease rates for port facilities, setting compensation levels and expense reimbursement for Port staff, adopting the Port budget, levying taxes, providing promotional hosting expenditures, and executing contracts. Information on the legal authority of Port districts and the role of Port Commissioners is available through the Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) and Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA).
The duties of a Port Commissioner will likely involve an average minimum commitment of 8-12 hours per month for preparation, participation, and attendance at various meetings and community activities. Beyond the broad duties previously mentioned, Commission duties include, but are not limited to:
- Required attendance at regular Port Commission meetings, which are generally held on the second Wednesday of each month, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and occasionally later. From time to time, the Port of Benton Commission President may call special Commission meetings to handle Port business.
- Commissioners are expected to serve on regional boards and commissions, and to represent the Port Commission at various community functions. These various meetings and functions normally occur during weekdays, but may also occur occasionally on weekends, and during the evening.
- Advise the Executive Director on long-range planning. Approve basic long- and short-range operating plans and budgets as recommended by the Executive Director in keeping with established direction, objectives, and policies.
- Decide on matters which exert major influence on the manner in which the Port’s business is conducted; and in general, protect and make the most effective use of the Port of Benton’s assets.
The monthly Commissioner salary as of January 1, 2021 is $1,500 per month. In addition, Commissioners are paid $128 per meeting up to 96 meetings per year.
*RCW 42.12.070(6) states:
As provided in chapter 29A.24 RCW, each person who is appointed shall serve until a qualified person is elected at the next election at which a member of the governing body normally would be elected. The person elected shall take office immediately and serve the remainder of the unexpired term.
RCW Chapter 29A.24 relates to the process by which candidates file for office. RCW 29A.24.171(1) provides that when a vacancy arises prior to the first day of the regular filing period, filings for that office will be accepted during the regular filing period. Under RCW 29A.24.171(2), if the vacancy occurs on or after the first day of the regular filing period, “the election of the successor shall occur at the next succeeding general election that the office is allowed by law to have an election.” [emphasis added]. The missing piece, which RCW 29A.04.330(1) provides, is:
All city, town, and district general elections shall be held throughout the state of Washington on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in the odd-numbered years.
Based on that, both statutes facilitate the same result. Special purpose district general elections are allowed by law to occur only in odd numbered years. Thus, the individual who fills the vacant District 2 position shall hold office until the November 2023 election, at which time the winner of the November 2023 election shall begin their regular 6-year term.