RICHLAND, WA – At its inaugural 2022 meeting the Port of Benton Commission chose to appoint from within their ranks, Christy Rasmussen as Commission President for 2022.
Rasmussen, who was appointed to complete the remaining two years of the six-year term recently vacated by Commissioner Robert D. Larson, will take over for Port Commission President Jane Hagarty, who had presided as president since 2020.
Commissioner Roy Keck will move into the position of Vice-President, and newly elected Commissioner Lori Stevens will serve as Commission Secretary. These formal officer roles are part of the enabling powers and duties of Port Districts in Washington State, permitting officers selected from within the rank of elected officials to run meetings of the special district corporation and affirm a record of proceedings.
Commission President Rasmussen noted, “I am honored by the nomination of my peers to represent the Port as Commission President provided my recent appointment to the Port Commission itself. I have studiously observed the Port’s impact and operation for several years, and I look forward to hitting the ground running in service to my fellow commissioners and community.”
The Port of Benton Commission also created the Port Economic Development Corporation (EDC) in 1981 (Resolution 81-20) to facilitate local economic development within the Port District. The EDC board consists of three members, with the elected Port Commissioners serving as the EDC’s President, Vice-President and Secretary. As in years past, the Port Commission elected to appoint the same slate of officers on the EDC board as their respective roles on the Port Commission. There are no current actions of the Economic Development Corporation; however, it remains an active Port activity that enables the creation of Industrial Development Revenue Bonds as needed to support target sector economic development.
The Port of Benton will continue to focus on their strategic plan and several projects slated for 2022, including a large electrical replacement project at the Richland Airport, rail crossing repair at Van Giesen St. and Swift Blvd. and continued infrastructure repairs and maintenance.
Provided the high transmission rate of the coronavirus Omicron variant Commission meetings will continue to be held virtually at this time. Commissioners will assess a return to hybrid meetings as reports are received regarding transmissibility and community spread.