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Bronson shifts to port

As Marshall Bronson’s last meeting as a Town Council member wrapped up, his new start in public life as a port commissioner was just beginning.

Bronson was appointed as commissioner for the Port of Coupeville during Wednesday’s monthly meeting. The night before, he finished his final meeting on the Coupeville Town Council.

There were two candidates to choose from. Rob Harbour also applied for the position that opened up when Bruce Bryson announced his resignation.

Both Harbour and Bronson were given interview questions prior to the meeting. Harbour answered questions during the meeting, while Bronson, who wasn’t able to attend the meeting, prepared them beforehand. The answers were read into the record during the meeting.

The candidates were asked questions about how they would go about balancing economic development with protecting the environment; what project should take priority on the comprehensive plan and how they would work to improve the port’s financial situation.

Bronson cited the Greenbank Farm as the port’s most visible asset and burden and added it has the greatest potential for economic growth. He also said the port’s marine facility marketing plan would also be easy to implement.

As for improving the port’s economic situation, he said an outreach program should be developed to convince people to approve a possible increase in the property tax levy and that the Greenbank Farm should get more use.

In the end, commissioners Ann McDonald and Benye Weber went into executive session to deliberate the qualifications of each candidate. They returned after 20 minutes to announce they had chosen Bronson.

“This was one tough decision,” Weber said after making the announcement.

Bronson had to leave the Town Council after 12 years when he was defeated by Ann Dannhauer in November’s election.

He will be sworn in to fill out Bryson’s term during the Port’s January meeting scheduled for Jan. 9.

Bryson announced his resignation last month. He cited personal reasons during his announcement and said he would remain on the board through the end of the year. He was finishing his fourth year of a six-year term.

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