Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Olympia Port Commissioner Resigns

By Mark Edward Nero

Port of Olympia Commission Vice President Sue Gunn is leaving the board at the end of the month due to health reasons.

“I regret to inform you that I have decided to resign from my position on the commission effective April 1, to allow myself the time I need to heal from recent heart surgery and associated complications,” she wrote in a March 13 letter distributed to port officials and local media.

Gunn, 66, underwent surgery Dec. 18 and has missed several Commission meetings since last November. Commissioner Bill McGregor has been publicly vocal about the issue because Gunn represents a third of the three-person commission, and her extended absence has resulted in a bare quorum.

“There has been considerable pressure on me from the port, and from one of the commissioners, to return rapidly, which is not conducive to the extensive healing needed,” she wrote, referencing McGregor. “It’s necessary to take the time required to recover from this complex medical event.”

The two remaining commissioners, McGregor and Board President George Barner, will either choose a replacement for Gunn within 90 days of the effective date of her resignation, or if they cannot agree, the vote would go to the County Commission, which would have until Sept. 28 to make a choice.
Port of Olympia commissioners are chosen via district-wide vote. Gunn currently represents District 3, which includes west Olympia, Tumwater and South Thurston County. Her seat is up for election again this fall, and if whoever is appointed to serve out the remainder of Gunn’s time wishes to seek a full term, they’d have to run in the general election later in the year.