Candidate Q &A: Friday Harbor Port Commission | Election 2013

Mike Ahrenius - Contributed photo
Mike Ahrenius
— image credit: Contributed photo

Incumbent Mike Ahrenius faces local antique merchant Daniel Miller in the race for a position on the Friday Harbor Port Commission.

The Port operates the Friday Harbor marina and airport, as well as public property and facilities at Jacksons Beach. The Port is governed by a three-person commission elected to staggered six-year terms; commissioners receive $95 pay for each meeting, oversee and approve the yearly port budget, and are responsible for hiring a port director.

Journal: Why do you want to be port commissioner?

Ahrenius: At this point, there is more that I can contribute to the Port of Friday Harbor and the residents of San Juan Island by way of experience in the industry and, now with the loss of the Spring Street Landing building, seeing this project through to completion is very important.

J: What should be done about rebuilding or replacing the Spring Street Landing Building?

Ahrenius: As one voice of three commissioners, I fully expect that this project will be a total replacement, given that the building we lost was made up of several buildings over the years and countless remodels for varying purposes.

This building project must also reflect what Friday Harbor has become and where it may be headed in the next fifty plus years, and be flexible enough to change as time and tenants change.

J: What is your plan for waterfront bulkhead repair or replacement? Would you support a boardwalk along the waterfront from the Port to the ferry dock? What should be done with port property at Jackson Beach?

Ahrenius: Personally I would love to see stairs to the water’s edge so people can touch the water. In reality, I will be happy with whatever we can get through as long as it contains an exceptional pedestrian walkway as part of an eventual waterfront boardwalk.

As far as Jackson Beach is concerned, it also is part of our waterfront planning and has been part of our discussions in Port meetings all along, but since there is no continuous income stream we are careful how we spend money there. But yes - it’s time for some improvements.

J: What can the port do to maximize port income from the marina? From the airport?

Ahrenius: Your staff keeps a close eye on this issue at both locations. Any time we can garner more income without being too aggressive or spend too much to gain too little, we will talk it over, come to agreement and move forward.


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