The Port is more than the airport.
Our airport serves us well: it is in great condition (although it must be ready to meet our changing EMS needs) and it has to remain our #1 priority. But Ports similar in size have done so much more: they promote and fund economic development so we can expand our local economy and create good jobs to keep and attract young people, without raising taxes. Other ports have developed community commercial kitchens and workspaces, incubator labs for businesses, public docks, R/V parks, commercial/industrial parks, business/residential developments, job training programs, and grants to local groups.
We have more pressing needs than new projects at an already outstanding small airport. It’s time for the Port to focus on the needs of the entire Lopez community.
These are exciting but complicated and tough issues. The Port needs the experience, vision, and leadership of Larry Bailey, a 42-year resident of Lopez and attorney. He has negotiated and contracted with Washington ports for over 25 years and has extensive working knowledge of their powers, operations, and capabilities.
Let’s make the Port of Lopez an economic engine to benefit all Lopez residents.
Elect Larry Bailey Port Commissioner!
The Port can be an economic engine for Lopez Island
Maintaining a safe airport has to be our number one priority, but the Port must become a better steward of its resources. I would like to expand the focus of the Port and use its powers to address the needs of the entire Lopez community. We must also return the Port to fiscal good health. These are the reasons I’m asking for your support and vote for Port Commissioner.
Our airport is in great condition to service Lopez air travel. It receives annual FAA stipends of $150,000 to pay for its needs, airport property rentals, plus $92,000+ of our tax money. Lopez has more pressing needs than further non-essential airport projects.Since 1987, the Port has spent approximately $1 million of local tax money and $7 million of FAA grants on the airport. Approximately 34 local pilots, San Juan Airlines, daily mail/package delivery, and emergency medevacs use it. Certainly we need a safe airport to accommodate these activities; but general aviation air traffic is shrinking, not growing, both nationally and locally.
We need to expand our local economy and create more good jobs to keep and attract young people. Ports are the only public agency whose primary mission is to promote economic development, and with it businesses and jobs. The public port development formula has been consistently successful: public investment (when private investors cannot provide financing) creates competitive facilities, which generate direct and secondary employment, revenue, and taxes for further development of a community.
Our Port can become an economic engine benefiting all Lopez residents. Ports similar in size to Lopez have resurrected their communities and helped develop: commercial kitchens, incubator labs for new businesses, public docks, RV parks, public transportation, industrial/commercial parks, grant programs to local groups, etc. These small ports have done it while providing good jobs for residents, increasing income for the community, preserving the environment, and maintaining fiscal health. Supporting affordable housing is a possibility. Cooperation with other Lopez taxing districts and community groups should be fully examined. First, however, we must return the Port to a strong financial position. In past years, the Port had over $480,000 in cash reserves. Now it is $788,000 in debt, with $139,000 in cash and losing $30,000/year on housing rental. Once we repair finances, we can expand the focus of the Port to benefit all islanders.
Why vote for Larry Bailey?
I have been a neighbor of our Airport since 1975 and have engaged in many Port issues since 1980. I have 45+ years’ experience as an attorney, businessman, and community leader. I’ve represented individuals, small and big businesses, local to international organizations, and governmental entities. I have been making major business decisions all my career and have a solid record of success in making the right choice at the right time. I have brought teams of 3 to 300 professionals together to collaboratively reach good solutions to difficult problems, including 23 years as Managing Attorney for Microsoft at my law firm. I will use my skills and common sense to restore financial viability, better manage the Port’s assets, promote economic development, and create an open dialogue on Port business so everyone is better-informed. Let’s work together to invest in our future for our collective benefit.
I believe I am the right person at the right time with the right vision, experience, and skills to make this happen. I ask for your support and your vote.