Since 1978, the Port of Allyn has operated a public water system to service our community. The system has, and will always be, operated in compliance with Washington State law and regulation. We recognize the hard work and sound judgment exercised by past Commissioners and staff in providing this community based system, and we are committed to continuing to provide this service to our community.
For the past several months, one Port District property owner — a non-resident of the District, has made numerous public accusations against the Port — specifically stating that by virtue of its ownership of a community water system that the Port is in the water business illegally. While we respect and invite scrutiny, as a public agency we are audited regularly by the Washington State Auditor’s Office. It examines our financial affairs and our compliance with all applicable laws. The Port has had no audit findings of any kind in more than 25 years.
While we strongly disagree with the assertions made by this individual, our staff has fully cooperated with him by answering numerous public records requests for documents related to the Port’s water system — as well as employment records of Port personnel. One of the public records requests sought documents going as far back as 1960. We strongly believe that it is the Port’s mission, as a public agency to be as responsive as possible to citizen’s request for public records. We thank our staff for the hard work and professionalism they have shown in helping this individual gain access to all the records he requested.
This individual has also threatened litigation against the Port over this issue. Here again, as stewards of the public asset that is your Port, we have taken this threat very seriously and engaged experts in Port District law and water law to make sure the Port is on solid legal ground. We believe that this was prudent to have subject matter experts take a fresh look at our community water system and its legal underpinnings. We will be hearing from these experts in the near future in a public meeting. We invite — and encourage — the public’s attendance.
While this has been a significant drain on the resources of the District in terms of both money and staff time, the Port as a public agency must act transparently and prudently. In this regard, we recognize that providing access to our public records is an essential part of acting transparently — just as retaining subject matter expert attorneys is also prudent as well when threatened with litigation.
We are acutely aware of the financial impact on the Port and the community angst that issues such as this can cause. We want to take this opportunity to publicly thank the citizens of the Port of Allyn for their ongoing support and look forward to concluding this manner in an open and transparent manner. If there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Commissioner Judy Scott, Chair
Commissioner Ted Jackson, Vice Chair
Commissioner John A. Sheridan