The Times recommends: Peter Steinbrueck for Port of Seattle, Position 4

Voters should elect Peter Steinbrueck to the Port of Seattle Commission. His civic experience demonstrates his ability and commitment to get things done and improve the region.

THE Port of Seattle is at one of the most critical points in its 107-year history.

To guide this important organization through the storm, voters should elect Peter Steinbrueck to Port Commissioner Position 4.

Steinbrueck is a Seattle architect who served three terms on the City Council. His civic accomplishments prove his commitment to improving the region and ability to get things done in a vexing political climate.

His professional experience, running a small architectural business, will also benefit a port district that’s embarking on a building spree and working to support entrepreneurs.

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Steinbrueck’s best qualification for the job, though, is his determination to defend and support the port’s portfolio of economic-development tools through uncertain times.

Regional growth has made the port’s Seattle-Tacoma International Airport the nation’s fastest growing regional airport. Over the next five years the port is investing $2.4 billion in terminal upgrades and baggage facilities.

Growth is also creating challenges for the port’s maritime facilities in Seattle.

Traffic congestion is stifling access to terminals and industrial areas. Some city officials and developers are chomping at the bit to sprawl apartments and offices into industrial areas, which must be preserved to support working-class jobs that remain a cornerstone of the regional economy.

Amid heightened competition for shipping business, the port must find a tenant for its vacant Terminal 5 on Elliott Bay. This deep-water facility should be one of the premier terminals on the Pacific Rim.

At the same time, the port must restore public confidence in its governance after a botched bonus scheme for port employees last year, followed by the abrupt departure of its executive director. Then came the bobbling of the Ivar’s concession contract at Sea-Tac.

The port commission has much more work to do. It must avoid temptations to use its pulpit to advance ideology and stay focused on its critical mission: to create jobs and grow the regional economy.

Steinbrueck’s competitor, Preeti Shridhar, is a political newcomer and public-affairs administrator for the city of Renton. Previously she was a manager and…

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