Port candidate town hall will focus on Bellingham airport

The Birchwood Neighborhood Association, along with the Columbia Neighborhood Association and the citizens’ group Reduce Jet Noise, are hosting a town hall meeting with candidates seeking election to the Port of Bellingham Commission at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27, in the cafeteria at Shuksan Middle School.

All four candidates running for the commission will be in attendance, along with current commissioner Jim Jorgensen, according to April Barker, president of the Birchwood Neighborhood Association. The candidates will be given opportunities to respond to questions and comments from meeting attendees. Jorgensen does not plan to take questions, Barker said.

In this year’s port election, Ken Bell is running against current incumbent Michael McAuley for the commission’s District No. 2 seat, while Dan Robbins and Renata Kowalczyk are running for the commission’s District No. 1 seat, which is being vacated next year by Scott Walker.

The town hall will focus on issues surrounding the growth and expansion of the Bellingham International Airport. While some community members have cheered the airport’s growth, others have raised concerns over negative impacts of increased jet traffic in the area.

The port candidates were asked about the impacts of the airport’s growth in recent election interviews with The Bellingham Business Journal. Read their comments here, and here.

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