Vancouver accountant Dan Barnes announced this week that he will run for a seat on the Port of Vancouver Board of Commissioners.
He is running for the District 3 seat, currently held by Jerry Oliver. Oliver announced last year that he did not plan to run for re-election.
Barnes is a partner at Barnes & Christofanelli CPAs and has been working in the Vancouver and Portland areas for 39 years. He has never held elected office.
“The port is a business, and I want to use my experience and education to set policies that work for both our tenants and tax-paying community stakeholders,” Barnes said in a news release announcing his candidacy. “Working together, our port can promote efficiencies and retain and attract new business. We can build relationships and fill the role as an engine of economic development and success for Vancouver.”
In a phone interview, Barnes said Oliver contacted him and asked him to check out the port. Barnes said he went on a tour of the facilities and started attending meetings. What he saw moved him toward wanting to get more involved in the work of the public port, which, by its count, moves nearly 8 million tons of freight annually.
“I thought, ‘What a unique opportunity the port is,’ ” he said. “It’s an incredible asset to Clark County.”
The port signs leases, finds customers and has finances and assets to manage. “It does everything I’ve done for years and years, on a much larger scale,” Barnes said, which sparked his interest.
Barnes said he wants to work to make the port run its business efficiently, and ensure it’s accountable and transparent in how it makes decisions.
“The port can provide jobs and opportunity, not only by attracting new businesses but by partnering with our city and county, neighboring ports and the great state of Washington to make Clark County more prosperous for all,” he said.
The election is in November. Port commissioners serve six-year terms.