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McClelland a solid choice

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If you were to draw up a list of qualifications for a Port of Everett commissioner, it might look a lot like Troy McClelland’s resume.
Master’s degrees from the University of Washington in business administration and civil engineering. Seven years with the Fluke Corp., where he has gained global experience in marketing, customer support and procurement. Nineteen years in the U.S. Navy, the last nine as a commander in the Reserves, and a stint as the assistant construction manager when Naval Station Everett was built.
McClelland would bring an impressive background, a fresh set of eyes and a record of problem solving to the District 1 seat being vacated by Phil Bannan. He has our endorsement.
McClelland’s business and engineering knowledge are clearly pertinent to the port’s primary economic mission, but he’s also a proponent of creating more public access to the waterfront. The port should always seek to maximize the potential for public access in projects, he says, and should work with the city to develop a long-term vision and commitment to it.
His opponent, Mark Olson, is seeking the seat after deciding not to run for a third term on the Everett City Council.
On key issues, the two agree more than they disagree. Both favor starting a new process to solicit the community’s ideas for the vast area that was to be the Port Gardner Wharf development, after the developer filed for bankruptcy. They’re both critical of the port for moving too aggressively to create the mixed-use development, and forcing out a significant number of industrial jobs, without a backup plan.
Olson is a strong proponent of preserving the Collins Building; McClelland is open to it if a workable public/private financing model can be established. Olson wants to expand the commission from three to five members — an idea we support — and McClelland says he leans in the same direction.
This would be a tougher call if not for Olson’s very public history of problems associated with alcohol. We called on him to resign his City Council position two years ago after an episode in his downtown office one night that led to a sexual-assault investigation. Ultimately, no charges were filed. That event followed an alcohol-related car accident in 2003.
The fact that after these incidents Olson still chooses to drink alcohol raises doubts about whether he has adequately dealt with a troubling personal issue, and thus whether he is fit to serve.

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