Port Commission

A Commissioner’s Job Description

From the Washington Public Ports Association’s Commissioners Resource Guide

Planning, Goal-Setting, Evaluation

The port commission helps plan the port’s future, and then guides port activities in that direction. This planning process involves the port commission, executive director, port staff, customers and citizens/voters. The process usually includes identifying a port’s mission and goals and developing strategies to achieve them. The port commission is ultimately responsible for evaluating and updating the planning process.

Port District Policy Making

The port commission develops and adopts port district policies to implement port goals and govern the many facets of port district operations. These include developing guidelines for long-term economic development, establishing positions and employment policies, and adopting budgets.


The port commission approves and adopts an annual budget. Some key budget decisions include authorizing and adopting tax levy amounts, adopting policies, approving purchases, and disposing of or distributing supplies, property, and equipment.

Designating the Port’s Executive Director/Manager

The port commission is responsible for recruiting, hiring and evaluating the performance of the port’s chief executive. The commission delegates responsibility to this port administrator, then respects that delegated authority.