The elected Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners sets Port policy. The Port of Kalama’s mission is ‘to induce capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities.’ The Commission ensures a sound economic development strategy for the Port creating a balanced and diverse industry base to provide living wage jobs and a range of community recreational amenities.
Stariha has served as a Port Commissioner since 2010. An active volunteer and participant in the community, Stariha owns Kalama Auto Supply and Repair. A long-time Kalama resident, he graduated from Kalama High School in 1989. He is the father of three boys, and much of his free time is spent attending his son’s sporting events as well as coaching football, basketball and soccer teams.
Sweet has served as a Kalama Port Commissioner since 2005. An engineering geologist and hydrogeologist with degrees from LCC, Western Washington and the University of Oregon, he founded a very successful nationwide environmental consulting business. He is also past president of the St. John Foundation and chairman of the Cowlitz County Planning Commission, and is a founding member of the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board.
Harbison was appointed the District 2 Commissioner by a unanimous vote of the Commission in 2021. He has lived in Kalama since 2009 and currently serves as the Cowlitz County Utility Manager. Harbison also serves on a number of area boards, including the Kalama Planning Commission. Patrick earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University in 2002.
Port Commissioners have many responsibilities to ensure optimum use of port facilities, acreage and infrastructure. The commission oversees everything from marina and industrial improvements to due diligence on industries that fit and comply with the mission of the Port and the culture of the community, as well as investment in community recreational facilities like parks, walking paths, marina and other amenities.
Port District Powers
The Legislature, in creating port districts, described their basic purposes as follows: Port districts are hereby authorized to be established in the various counties of the state for the purposes of acquisition, construction, maintenance, operation, development and regulation within the district of harbor improvements, rail or motor vehicle transfer and terminal facilities, water transfer and terminal facilities, air transfer and terminal facilities, or any combination of such transfer and terminal facilities, and other commercial transportation, transfer, handling, storage and terminal facilities, and industrial improvements.
Powers to implement those purposes are granted in numerous statutes, mainly in Title 53 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW).
Want to learn more? Knowing the Waters – Basic Legal Guidelines for Port District Officials.