Connie Bacon has decided 20 years on the Port of Tacoma Commission is enough.
Bacon said it was not an easy choice, because there is so much to do with the port.
She thanked the community for electing her five times to the position.
“I’m frankly a believer in term limits,” she said. “ ... If I had run again, it would be on the issue of experience.”
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In her time at the port, she said, the hardest final decision she made was to form the Northwest Seaport Alliance, a container shipping partnership with the ports of Tacoma and Seattle.
Talks took a long time, she said, and the final vote was only the beginning of a yearslong process to unite the two ports’ shipping businesses, which continues to this day.
“It was the right thing to do. Continuous competition between the ports was only detrimental to both ports,” Bacon said. “The fact that we could come together in a way that would have equal power between the ports was a good way to go.”
Even before her history at the port, she’s been at the center of maritime trade and politics.
Bacon, a former director of World Trade Center Tacoma, received the organization’s lifetime achievement award in 2013. She also served eight years as special assistant to Gov. Booth Gardner.
“I would say Connie is a very forceful individual whose convictions she will take to the mat,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President Dick Marzano. With Bacon, he said, “you always know where you stand, which I’ve always appreciated.”
He called her a team player. While she would voice opposition to plans she didn’t like, Marzano said she would also work to make them succeed if they passed.
After her term ends in December, Bacon said she won’t remain idle long.
“I'm not going to have spare time. I tried to retire twice and it hasn’t worked,” Bacon said. “I will be staying involved in the community in some manner.”
John McCarthy, a former Pierce County Superior Court judge, announced Tuesday he was running for her open Position 1 seat.
Also running for the post is former Port Security Director Eric Holdeman.