Submitted by Tom Davis:
For some months now Port Commissioners Jay Hupp, Tom Wallitner, and Director Dobson have been engaged in an ill-advised effort to exclude citizen input. To this end, the Port has discontinued publicly attended workshop sessions, ignored public requests for more information regarding action agenda items, and does not respond to emails and/or letters.
Favoritism in Port dealings has been a major concern of citizens, and nothing has brought this more to light than the recent decision to grant long-time friends, John and Rachel Hansen operation of the Mason Area Fair, the transaction at the root of Ms. Rebo’s allegations, which includes “gifting of public assets.”
Prior to blowing the whistle on such shenanigans, Ms. Rebo was considered a valuable and respected employee, whose duties were to assist in management of Port property, including leases. Before Ms. Rebo challenged the Port’s apparent policy of favoritism, she had received positive evaluations and a raise for excellent performance of her duties.
However, after her allegations were filed with the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office, Director Dobson presented Ms. Rebo with a laundry list of her professional failings, which he called a “Disciplinary Action” and demanded she sign the document or be fired. Ms. Rebo declined to sign and her termination was effective immediately.
This most recent action by the Port will undoubtedly result in yet more litigation, more legal fees and perhaps a significant award granted Ms. Rebo under the “Whistleblower Act,” all at public expense.
Amid all its recent unsavory dealings, it is easy to forget the Port is a public municipality that exists solely as an economic engine. It would appear, however, that management of the Port of Shelton is far too busy waging war against all those who would challenge their behavior to have any time left over for job creation or to find new sources of income generation.