John Calhoun announces for port commissioner

June 24, 2003

Forks Forum

Local resident John Calhoun has announced his candidacy for Port of Port Angeles Commissioner from District 3, the seat being vacated by Glen Beckman.

A major goal is to invigorate the leadership of the port, Calhoun said. Iím going to run a vigorous campaign.I will stress three themes in my campaign: economic development, economic development and economic development, he said. The theme is presented in this way to make a point; economic development is the primary function of the Port of Port Angeles and that there is more than one way to achieve it. We need to expand the portfolio of approaches and investments.
According to Calhoun, important issues face the port are:

Buying and selling property (asset management and allocation)
Forming innovative new partnerships with City and County economic development efforts
Growing the pie in terms of adding new opportunities for development
maintaining the core services of the Port including air and water born transportation facilities
invigorating Port leadership.

All these issues, and more to come, must be resolved with a common test for success; does the resolution of the issue enhance sustainable economic development of the County? he said.

While the goals are traditional, the means to achieve them are not, Calhoun said.

Sustainable economic growth is the goal, according to Calhoun, and thatís determined by:

Asset management and allocation.
Innovative partnerships.
Expand opportunities
Core services and function
Invigorated leadership
Public trust

The port is the only statutory authority for economic development in the county. I want to he sure it carries out that responsibility, he said The three port commissioners represent different areas of the county and I want to be sure that the West End is represented by someone who knows and understands the West End.
The port has the authority to tax up to 45 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation in property taxes countywide so we want to be sure weíre well represented on the commission, Calhoun said.
I want to change the kind of contribution the port makes to the West End and be sure that it is different than it has been in the past, he said. The port has the authority to enter into economic development partnerships with cities which theyíve underutilized in the past.

Being Port Commissioner is a continuation of public service and concern for the well-being of the West End, he added. Iím interested in making this a West End campaign with a West End team.
Calhoun is 59 years old and has lived in the West End for 23 years. He and his wife of 39 year, Judy, have two daughters and four grandchildren.

I enjoy community service, landscape design and construction, and international travel, he said.

Calhoun earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forest Management from the University of California at Humboldt and is a graduate of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program.

He is currently employed by the University of Washington. He serves as Director of the Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC) in Forks and is the College Lands Manager. As Director of ONRC, I lead programs of research, education and outreach helping to integrate ecological values into commercial management of forest and marine resources in support of resource dependent communities, he said. In these capacities I am accountable to the public for management and care of over $40 million in assets with an annual operation and research budget in excess of $3 million.

Before becoming Director of ONRC in 1995, Calhoun worked 28 years with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources where he held positions including the Department Director of Habitat Conservation Planning from 1993 to 1995 and as Olympic Region Manager from 1982 to 1993. He was awarded the Governorís Distinguished Management Leadership Award in recognition of sustained outstanding leadership and notable contributions in reducing costs and improving services to the public.

Calhoun is a Certified Professional Forester and member of the Society of American Foresters.

Service to community, the state and the region is a dominating theme in Calhounís life. This public service ethic comes from a high level of personal concern for the wellbeing of our region, he said. Working to enhance the capacity of rural communities during changing economic times has been the special focus of my professional career and volunteer service.
Selected recognition for these efforts include:

o United Way of Clallam County, Distinguished Service Award

o To Honor Your Service to Education award from Quillayute Valley School District for serving as levy and bond issue chairman year after year

o Certificate of Merit in recognition of outstanding community leadership and contributions to the improvement of public education in the State of Washington by the Washington Association of School Administrators

o Certificate of appreciation for serving on the Forks Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Choosing a career of public service, honoring the public trust to manage the publicís assets, allows me the opportunity to contribute to our community both professionally and privately through volunteer service, he said.


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