Jorgensen to retire from port commission

By Steve Guntli

Longtime Blaine resident Jim Jorgensen has announced he won’t run again for the Port of Bellingham commission after his term ends.

Jorgensen, a retired Blaine High School science teacher of more than 30 years, has been a commissioner since 2004. He said he is retiring due to ongoing health concerns.

“I just decided it was time,” Jorgensen said. “It’s been an interesting 11 years. We got a lot done at the port.”

On January 12, Ferndale mayor Gary Jensen was the first to announce he would pursue the empty seat on the port commission. Jensen has served two terms as Ferndale’s mayor, but has decided not to run for re-election.

During Jorgensen’s three terms, he helped oversee Bellingham International Airport’s expansion project and worked to secure funding to clean up the site of the former Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Bellingham.

“It’s been a long process to return that area to a state of cleanliness, but you’ll see some dirt moving down there soon,” he said.

One of Jorgensen’s priorities lately has been repairing the dilapidated pier road at the end of Marine Drive in Blaine. The port owns the pier at the end of the road, while the city of Blaine maintains the road itself. The city and port have been working together to secure funding to repair the road, which Jorgensen estimates will happen within the next two years.

“I think it’s important that the port continues to keep Blaine beautiful,” Jorgensen said. “That pier is one of the special places our town has to offer.”

Jorgensen’s term expires December 31, 2015.

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