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Public Comment at Port Commission Meetings

Open Meetings

NOTE: Please visit our meetings portal and view the most recent agenda for testimony procedures relating to COVID-19 restrictions.

All meetings of the Port Commission and its standing committees are open to the public, subject to the provisions of Chapter 42.30 RCW, the Commission’s Bylaws and Rules of Procedure, and standing committee charters.  Meetings are conducted in a manner that provides the public the opportunity to hear and observe the proceedings.  Access to meeting rooms is subject to safety considerations and the ability to conduct the meeting in an orderly manner. 

Onsite Meetings with a Virtual Component (Microsoft Teams and Alternate Telephone Access): 

  • Public comment is taken at regularly scheduled Port of Seattle Commission Business meetings. 
  • Remote public commenters (for general public comment or for specific public hearings) may sign up to speak by sending an email request to speak, with the meeting date and topic they wish to address to: commission-public-records@portseattle.org, no later than 9 a.m. PST on the day of the meeting.  The Port accepts comment on any topic related to Port business. 
  • Public commenters joining the meeting by telephone-only will follow the instructions sent to them and will call-in in advance of the meeting to receive meeting procedures and sound check.  
  • Public commenters wishing to join the meeting virtually may do so by requesting to speak prior to 9 a.m. on the day of the meeting by contacting commission-public-records@portseattle.org and will join the Microsoft Teams platform in advance of the meeting to receive meeting procedures and sound check. 
  • For public comment given at the physical meeting location, the sign-up process is onsite and available prior to the meeting.  
  • Written comment may also be submitted through the email above and will be distributed to all Members of the Commission prior to the meeting.  All written comment received in relation to Regular Commission Business meetings will be included as part of the meeting record. 
For Pier 69 location details and parking information, including parking validation, please visit:
Pier 69 Parking
For Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Conference Center location details and parking information, including parking validation, please visit:

Conference Center Location and Directions | Port of Seattle (portseattle.org)

For any meeting held at a physical meeting location: 
 

At the risk of exposing others to illness, please do not attend this event if you answer “Yes” to any of the following items: 

  • You have signs or symptoms of any illness 
  • You have been exposed to another individual with COVID – 19 within the past 14 days 
  • You have been diagnosed with COVID – 19 within the past 10 days 
  • You are waiting for results of a COVID – 19 test 

Note:  All meeting agendas contain public participation and meeting access information.  Masks are optional. 

On-site Meetings with Telephone Access Only (This meeting option may be scheduled if a Microsoft Teams platform is not available for a meeting.):   

  • Public comment is taken at regularly scheduled Port of Seattle Commission Business meetings. 
  • Remote public commenters (for general public comment or for specific public hearings) may sign up to speak by sending an email request to speak, with the meeting date and topic they wish to address to: commission-public-records@portseattle.org, no later than 9 a.m. PST on the day of the meeting.  The Port accepts comment on any topic related to Port business. 
  • Public commenters joining the meeting by telephone-only will follow the instructions sent to them and will call-in in advance of the meeting to receive meeting procedures and sound check.  
  • For public comment given at the physical meeting location, the sign-up process is onsite and available prior to the meeting.  
  • Written comment may also be submitted through commission-public-records@portseattle.org and will be distributed to all Members of the Commission prior to the meeting.  All written comment received in relation to Regular Commission Business meetings will be included as part of the meeting record. 

General Public Comment Procedures and Information   

  • When recognized by the presiding officer, speakers should come to the testimony table and use the microphones provided. For everyone’s safety, please do not approach the Commission dais directly.    
  • Remember to repeat your name for the record, to identify the agenda item on which you are commenting, and to address your comments to the Commission as a group.  
  • If you are in physical attendance during a meeting and have printed materials to share with Commissioners, one of the clerks will be happy to distribute them for you.  Please be sure to bring eight (8) copies for distribution.   
  • Normally, Commissioners do not respond to questions or engage in dialog during public comment, but on rare occasions they may ask for clarification or direct requests to port staff.  
  • The overall length of the comment period is limited to 45 minutes, and members of the public typically are given two minutes to speak. However, the amount of time provided to individuals is subject to change and set by the Commission President at the time of the meeting.   

Disruptions

It is important to respect the order and decorum of public meetings by staying on topic and avoiding personalities, vulgarity, insults, and inflammatory language. The following disruptions during a public meeting are prohibited: 

  • Refusing to comply with the allotted time for individual comment; 
  • Outbursts from the audience; 
  • Delaying the comment period or interfering with the comments of others; 
  • Directing remarks to the audience; 
  • Holding or placing a banner or sign in the meeting room in a way that endangers others or obstructs the free flow of persons attending the meeting; 
  • Leaving the podium or testimony table to physically approach Commissioners or staff during public comment (although you are always welcome to ask a clerk for assistance or provide printed materials to the clerk); and 
  • Any behavior that disrupts, disturbs or impedes attendance at a public meeting. 

Public Hearings

Public hearings are special opportunities to speak on specific port actions, usually required by state law. Public hearing testimony is accepted at the time of the hearing in its regular agenda order. 

Your Comment is a Public Record

Recorded comments, the identity of speakers, and meeting sign-in sheets are public records subject to disclosure under Chapter 42.56 RCW, and the names of speakers are recorded in the meeting minutes. 

Executive Sessions

The Commission may recess to an executive session to discuss or receive briefings from staff regarding sale or lease of real estate, personnel matters, litigation or other subjects as set forth in the Open Public Meetings Act (RCW 42.30) and other applicable statutes. 

In the event an executive session is to be held, the regular meeting shall convene at 10:30 a.m. and shall immediately recess to an executive session, which is closed to the public. The open public meeting then shall reconvene at 12:00 noon. An executive session also may be called at any time after 12:00 noon, if necessary. 

Industrial Development Corporation

The Port Commissioners also sit as the Board of Directors of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of the Port of Seattle. By authorization of the Washington State Legislature, the IDC can issue tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance industrial development within the corporate boundaries of the port. The meetings of the IDC are open and public. 

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