LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Barlow Corkrum's approach won't serve public


The Chamber of Commerce's Oct. 18 candidates forum was excellent in terms of its new format and its management.

Barlow Corkrum again was worrisome.

Mr. Corkrum appears to not understand how organizations like the Port, the city and the county operate.

Mr. Corkrum suggests the Port commissioners are like the tail being wagged by a dog vis-a-vis the Port manager. He suggests if elected he'd quickly change things.

Mr. Corkrum appears to not understand that the Port commissioners, like the City Council and County Commission, oversee a competent full-time management operation while their job description is part-time.

The Port Commission works with a manager, the City Council works with and through a city manager and the Board of County Commissioners works with a series of department managers and elected officials.

Each manager has job parameters/authority as defined for their respective positions. Some job parameters include full authority to make decisions and some job parameters have limits as to authority. When limits are approached the managers advise their overseers and then the overseers take responsibility for decision making.

I offer this basic explanation based on my experience as a citizen who sits in the public audience and observes and studies how things work.

Mr. Corkrum would have us believe the Port commissioners are derelict in their responsibilities and he would immediately change that.

However, Mr. Corkrum would not by himself be able to instantly create change.It takes a majority to create change in this specific situation.

Mr. Corkrum makes it clear he intends to create committees to oversee and guide Port business. Yet he contradicts himself.

Mr. Frederickson explained how he made a specific decision after Mr. Corkrum requested he explain that decision. Mr. Frederickson answered he made that specific decision based on the recommendation of a committee established to offer a recommendation (exactly what Mr. Corkrum says he will do).

However, Mr. Corkrum obviously did not agree with Frederickson's decision and stated that just because it was the committee's recommendation Mr. Frederickson did not have to follow it. What?

Mr. Corkrum says he will shorten the sometimes lengthy Port meetings.

He misses the obvious. The county commissioners meet twice weekly. The Port commissioners only meet twice monthly. Do the math ... that is why the Port meetings are long ... by necessity.

Mr. Corkrum is dedicated to something and I admire him for his passion and dedication, however, I am concerned it does little to serve the overall needs of the public, only Mr. Corkrum.

R.L. McFarland
Walla Walla


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