Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra

Tammy’s views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy’s neighbors, Wayne Mayo, Betsy Johnson, Joe Corsiglia, President Trump, Henry Heimuller, VP Pence, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia’s dog, or Claudia Eagle’s Cats. This Tammy’s Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or even reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.

See Standard Disclaimer.






Related image

Green Industry is a must, we need to make the change now

The Port of Columbia can be a leader in changing Columbia County.


Green Industry


I read a letter to the editor from Nancy Whitney regarding the Port of Columbia. Whitney talks about the possibility of dissolving the Port District. She compares this idea to the actions of me and a few others when we drafted an initiative to rid ourselves of a corrupt Health District. While we accomplished this idea and stopped the corruption I fail to see the complete comparison between the Port of Columbia and the now defunct Columbia Health District.

The (hospital) Health district was sucking the taxpayers for approximately $1 million a year on the pretense of building a Critical Access Hospital. While I attended the meetings several years in the making and prior to the vote to create this idea and argued against the CAH, on the grounds that we would never get the CAH designation which was needed to make the CAH feasible. The county commissioners did a referendum to get the CAH on the ballot and sold the taxpayers a bad bill of goods, and creating a Special District in the process. The fraudulent siphoning of taxpayer money to a completely separate entity began.  The only way to stop it was to dissolve the district because after years of complaining and pleading to the hospital board fell on deliberate deaf ears.

While a Special District receives tax dollars completely dedicated to them only, a special district has all the power in the world and can do what they like as they are a government in our government with all the accessibility to legal counsel and answers to no one. In this regard they were and are in comparison with the Port of Columbia.

I did not agree with the actions of the Port of Columbia in this last action regarding changing the lease for Global Partners. The way it was presented to the public was definitely wrong. The port knew that changing the lease was going to be contentious within a good portion of the community.

The Port failed to hold the meeting in a large enough venue, making people stand outside in very cold weather where they could not hear, and not having proper seating for disabled folks some were outside sitting on a bench trying to hear the meeting very shameful. The Port failed to allow proper testimony opportunity for all citizens. The port allowed Global Partners to do their presentations for several hours then limited the public to a scant 2 minute presentation of each citizen at the next meeting, repeating we have spent too much time on this issue. That should have been a red flag that they had made up their minds already.

I found this seriously lacking in open transparency on the ports side. There are many well informed community members who understand oil, the market, and environment issues and they were not given ample time to present their information, and had to hurry through making their presentation nothing more than a feel good opportunity which did not make anyone feel good.

The Port then decided to table the vote on the lease at that Dec meeting and hold it at a bigger venue at the next scheduled Port meeting. The venue was ok. But then the Port did not allow everyone to speak pro-or con on the issue. Stating that if you spoke at the last meeting you could not speak again, I objected to this because it was a “new Port meeting” so everyone should have been allowed to speak. People had to finish their previous testimony or present new facts to the table for consideration. This was denied. Why, because their minds were made up as soon as Global requested a lease change.

The Port should have scheduled a proper hearing on this subject, and if time went long they could have carried the hearing over to another scheduled date. They FAILED the public. I was disappointed in the way they held the meetings; I was not surprised with their decision to allow a lease change for Global Partners.

Here’s why, Port Westward has been a continued money pit and industry failures for decades. The Port along with the County has faced black eye after black eye for their attempts to court questionable industries which were not financially sound, industry which were solely being developed on the “gold rush” attitude boom or bust, dirty industry, fossil fuel industries, industries which depended on taxpayer bailouts to stay solvent. Etc. etc. etc. The Port could not afford to have yet another company failure at Port Westward. This probably would have happened if Global had not gotten their lease agreement changed to ship more oil. Global Partners were shoring up their West Coast facility with profits from their East Coast holdings. In order to keep afloat they needed the freedom to ship more oil if the contracts which came available were for different weight crude.

Do I agree with dissolution of the Port of Columbia? The short answer is NO, here’s why, the Port of Columbia was created in the 1940’s to create economic development. I have to admit they have done some of this, creating jobs within our community, and they have failed miserably as well. Do I agree with the types of industry which the Port often courts the answer is NO, but we have seen some positive changes in the port these last couple of years. I think with the well informed community which puts pressure on the port to make better decisions and go after clean industry we will see more positive changes in the future. Sometimes the process is slow yet it is a process which we can be involved in and should be involved in. We can vote people off boards, if enough voters dislike them, that is how democracy works.

The comparison between the health district and the port is not even close. The port has not committed fraud against the taxpayers, they have certainly made some bad decisions regarding public meetings, testimony, and the type of industry at Port Westward but they have conducted their business legally even if not popular with the public. I have had my issues with the port in the past and will in the future most likely. But we all need to be realistic, and work together and not take it all personal. You get more flies with sugar than vinegar.

I suggest in the future the port considers only clean, green companies to site here. It would be a win, win, for all.


Let’s start the New Year off with a green outlook for our community.





Home                                  More Tammy’s Takes