Marks sworn in to Harbor Commission
John Driscoll/The Times-Standard
Posted: 12/05/2009 01:15:15 AM PST
About two dozen people were on hand Friday to watch Richard Marks be sworn in as the newest commissioner for the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.
District Executive Officer Dave Hull read Marks the oath, then handed him a set of keys to district facilities.
”This is the key to the castle,” Hull joked.
Hull added that he was pleased to see people turn out for the swearing in.
Marks, a former Samoa pulp mill worker and board member for the Samoa Peninsula Fire District, thanked those who helped him in his run for the Division 4 seat. He is taking over for Commissioner Dennis Hunter, who has stepped down after 20 years.
There are significant challenges ahead for the harbor district. Significant cuts had to be made this year to prevent a major reduction in reserves, and the board continues to struggle over how to approach port development.
Marks said that he would like to keep options open on port development.
In the near term, he said, he'll just need to get up to speed.
”I just really need to settle in and see where I fit,” Marks said.Welcome, Richard Marks; now buckle up
Posted: 12/06/2009 01:30:15 AM PST
We gladly welcome the newest member of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation Distrct -- Richard Marks -- to his seat on the dais. During the election, we endorsed Marks because we believe he had the best set of skills among the various candidates to help the district do what needs to be done over the next term.
And make no mistake -- there is a lot to do.
But he joins a governmental body that has been much conflicted in recent years, as various camps seek to seize the initiative and push the harbor in the direction they believe best serves the needs of Humboldt County's residents.
Which is why what Marks brings to the table is vital for the future health of the district. He represents membership in both sides of the debate -- a longtime Democrat with progressive credentials, Marks has also long served as an advocate of the working class, and knows that jobs and employment are absolutely imperative for any future that includes big plans for Humboldt Bay.
So we hope that Marks can and will put his skills to use as a broker of compromise and consensus.
And we implore his fellow board members, whatever their affiliation, to set aside their agendas and understand that with the board split as it currently is, accomplishing anything will take a willingness to work together for the good of all.
No one side is going to get everything they want, nor win all the political battles. So the key to avoiding a rancorous next two years is a willingness on the part of these elected officials to recognize that everyone on the district board was elected by the people to get things done. Board members have differing priorities just as the electorate has different interests, so respect that and be inclusive.
Otherwise, we're going to be in for a long ride to nowhere -- and our future is way too important to let that happen.