Port districts in Washington are unique: they are governed by an elected commission and are independent of other local jurisdictions. The Port of Poulsbo Board of Commissioners is a 3-member board, elected at large from within the port district, serving staggered 6-year terms.
Port commissions establish long-term strategies for a port district, and create policies to guide the development, growth, and operation of the port. They are also responsible for a port’s annual budget, approving tax levy rates, and hiring the professional staff members responsible for a port’s daily functions.
Commissioner Rutledge and his family have lived in many places across the United States and abroad, but chose to make Poulsbo their home 17 years ago. They live in the downtown Poulsbo area and love to participate in local and community events. He was elected to the Port Commission and began serving in 2012. A major focus for the Commission since 2012 has been to create and update Port business practices and policy, to establish financial reserves and planning, and to focus Port activity on serving the citizens of the Port District.
Jim began boating as a child, sailing dinghies, and has continued to have an affinity for the water and boating throughout his life. He has worked for yacht delivery companies, crewed on local, coastal and offshore passages and owned a variety of vessels.
He would like to encourage interested members of the public and all Port District citizens to participate in the governance of their Port District, by attending public meetings and supporting the Port District’s mission and values (found in the “About Us” section of this website).
The Port’s newest commissioner is originally from Issaquah, but has lived, worked and played in the Poulsbo area for over 10 years. He is often seen on the docks of the Poulsbo Marina, where he has moored his boat for over 7 years.
Mark is retired from the Navy and uses his skills as a pilot to fly commercial jets. In addition, he also has experience as a local small business owner. This experience will provide a unique and valuable perspective to the Board of Commissioners. Issues that are particularly important to him include: marina utilization, increasing Port commerce and economic infusion in to the community.
Appointed to fill a vacancy in June of 2012, Stephen (“Steve”) Swann, with his wife, recently relocated to Poulsbo from Arlington, Virginia, in 2011.
Swann, a 1968 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, retired from the Coast Guard with the rank of Commander in 1988. He served aboard an ocean station patrol ship (Greenland to Bermuda), the USCGC MCCULLOCH, Wilmington, NC, as ship’s navigator, communications officer, and assistant operations officer. In 1970, as a LTJG, he was assigned as commanding officer of the USCGC POINT BRIDGE, an 82 foot patrol boat stationed at Marina del Rey, CA, for search and rescue duty off the California coast from Santa Barbara to Long Beach. He was thereafter selected to attend Vanderbilt University School of Law on a Coast Guard-funded scholarship. His JAG tours included positions as assistant professor of law at the
U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT; and legislative counsel to the Congressional Affairs Staff, in Washington, DC.
Upon retiring from Active Duty, Swann formed a law firm in Arlington, Virginia, focusing on enforcement of consumer rights under Virginia and Federal law. He is licensed to practice law in Virginia and Washington State, as well as before the United States Supreme Court and numerous Federal courts.
Commissioner Swann, a member of the Poulsbo Lions Club and a musician in the Hometown Community Band, is available to meet and discuss Port issues of concern to marina residents and guests, and the boating community. He is editor of The Scuttlebutt, published monthly in the North Kitsap Herald, and is available to speak before civic and other organizations interested in the Port of Poulsbo.