rory turnerRory Turner, Commissioner representing Port of Chelan County District #3 and Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority Board Member, is announcing his intention to resign effective April 30, 2022.

Commissioner Turner was elected in November 2015 and has served on the Chelan County Port Commission since January 2016. “When I filed for re-election last May, it was my hope to serve another term on the Board. However, as a partner in several businesses and the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, my full-time focus is needed to help transition these businesses into a new operating environment. Regretfully, I cannot dedicate the time necessary to continue serving on the Regional Port Board,” explained Commissioner Turner.

One of Commissioner Turner’s lasting impacts will be his support and leadership in the formation of the Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority in 2019. Commissioner Turner supported a regional approach to economic development. The Regional Port is the first of its kind in the State of Washington when Port of Chelan County and Port of Douglas County, two county-wide port districts functionally consolidated into one operating entity. The Regional Port gained statewide attention, and the Washington Public Ports Association named the Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority the “2021 Port of the Year” for its political leadership in forming a Regional Port.

Commissioner Turner’s tenure as a Port of Chelan County Commissioner, and now as a Regional Port Board Member, has resulted in both organizations being very active in regional economic development projects. The Port of Chelan County purchased the former Lineage Properties in downtown Wenatchee and will soon reveal an adaptive reuse plan for the properties that will focus on providing small businesses with access to reasonably priced production space. The Port also purchased industrially zoned property in Malaga and is working on a promising economic development lead that could result in a significant new private sector investment in Chelan County.

One of the many positive outcomes of the Regional Port is a renewed focus on critical infrastructure investments at Pangborn Memorial Airport. The Regional Port is investing in a new approach lighting system that will improve commercial air service reliability in the winter months. In addition, reconstruction projects for the terminal building aviation ramp and the main taxiway system are underway. In total, approximately thirty million dollars in projects will be completed within the next two years.

Regional Port President and Port of Chelan County Commissioner District #2, JC Baldwin said, “Commissioner Turner has been an excellent Board Member and his knowledge of real estate development will be missed. His positive outlook and business background allowed the Regional Port to make smart strategic investments.”

Commissioner Turner commented “While I have mixed emotions regarding my resignation, it is tempered with the knowledge that the Regional Port Board is strong and actively engaged in setting policy that benefits our communities. I would also like to recognize the Regional Port staff. It has been an honor to work alongside talented, hardworking individuals that believe the Regional Port can make a difference in enhancing the economic vitality of the region.” While stepping down from the Regional Port Board, Commissioner Turner plans on staying actively engaged in community affairs and remains optimistic about our region’s economic potential.

In closing Commissioner Turner commented, “I would like to express my humble appreciation to the Citizens of Chelan County for entrusting me to serve as a Port Commissioner and Regional Board Member. It has been an honor.”

The Regional Port will begin the process of appointing a new Port of Chelan County District #3 Commissioner. The position will be publicly advertised, and the Board will soon approve a timeline and process for appointing a new Commissioner. Port of Chelan County District #3 encompasses the communities of Chelan, Manson, Entiat and the North portion of the City of Wenatchee. The appointed person will serve until the November 2023 election.