Port of Olympia Five-Member Commission

Port of Olympia Five-Member Commission

The Port of Olympia Commission is expanding in 2023! Thurston County voters approved increasing the number of Port of Olympia commissioners from three to five in the November 2022 general election. New district boundaries have been drawn and voters will choose the two additional Port commissioners in the 2023 November general election.

Port 101 Workshop

Learn more about the Port of Olympia and the role of commissioners.

Saturday, April 29, 2023
9 am to 11:30 am
Olympics Room
606 Columbia St. NW
Olympia, WA 98501

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the new district boundaries?

Thurston County district boundaries were redrawn through a public process to create five voting districts instead of three. The incumbent commissioners in the existing districts 1 through 3 will remain in office for the remainder of their current term and are eligible to run for re-election when their term expires.  The District 1 position is up for election in 2023. District 1 includes the areas around Indian Summer and the Capitol City Golf Club and extends north to Boston Harbor.  Elections will be held for two additional districts, District 4 and District 5, this coming November. District 4 encompasses the southwest portion of Thurston County and includes the cities of Tumwater and Tenino. District 5 includes portions of Olympia and Lacey, extending north through Johnson Point.

View the district map.

How do candidates file to run for office?

Information about filing for candidacy can be found on the Thurston County Auditor’s website. Filing week for the 2023 General Election is scheduled for May 15-19, 2023.

What are the benefits and responsibilities of serving on the Port of Olympia Commission?

Port commissioners have a voice in important decisions that affect the economy, the environment, and the community. Some of the duties include:

  • Establishing the port’s mission, priorities, and goals
  • Adoption of updates to the port’s strategic plan
  • Approving port policies on topics including, but not limited to, real estate and real property, finance, contracts and procurement, promotional hosting, environmental practices and stewardship, use of port resources, public records, and employment
  • Adopting an annual budget and tax levy
  • Routinely approving an updated Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvements
  • Selecting, appointing, providing goals and guidance, and conducting annual reviews of the executive director, the sole employee of the Port Commission
  • Staying abreast of industry and community trends and issues
  • Representing the port at official events
  • Receiving and processing formal and informal public input

The Port of Olympia Commission currently meets four times per month – twice in the evening and two meetings during regular business hours:

  • Meetings: 5:30 pm second and fourth Monday of each month
  • Work Sessions: 2:30 pm third Monday of each month
  • Agenda Setting Meeting – 4:00 pm the first Monday of each month

Compensation for port commissioners is determined by state law. Currently, Port of Olympia commissioners are paid $600 per month.  Additionally, they receive a per diem of $128 per day for time spent on Port business. This is capped at 96 days per year. Health insurance benefits are also available to them.

Learn more about the Port of Olympia Commission.

How can I learn more about the Port of Olympia?

In addition, the Port will be hosting a Port 101 Workshop on Saturday, April 29 from 9 am to 11:30 am in the Olympics Room, 606 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, WA 98501. 

Learn more about the Port of Olympia and the role of commissioners! The workshop is presented by Jim Darling, primary author of the Port Governance and Management: Leadership Manual for the Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA).  

The workshop is intended for those interested in becoming a port commissioner. However, anyone who wants to learn more about the Port of Olympia is encouraged to attend. There is no charge for this event. Thank you for registering so we can plan materials and seating accordingly. Register for this workshop. 

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