Introducing Richard “Doc” Robinson, candidate for Port Commissioner

The debate to end all debates!

by Doc Robinson

So anyway, the League of Women voters held political debates recently so the people could see their candidates.  About twelve people attended.  The PDN could not be bothered to cover it.  The League did not film it for you to watch later on YouTube.

This was a victory for the politicians and their two parties.  It is too bad because one of those candidates is quite candid about this being a step up the political ladder and that he is not interested in finishing his current city council term or this new post.  His eyes are set on the State House.  The other is wedded to logging interests, which would be fantastic if logging could provide more than a few long-term career jobs.  

So we are caught between one machine politician passing through and another looking backwards.  Meanwhile at least one unknown candidate is proposing real strategies for bringing new jobs with good pay to our young people.  But do you know his name?

How could you?  Let’s look at how this deck is stacked.  The two parties decide which familiar face will keep them in power and they put their money there.  The professional associations then follow the two parties.   So the official candidates have public money and the others can spend their own.  But wait a minute; this position pays less than minimum wage!  So not only does the candidate have to want to serve, but they must also be rich.  The local media helps by not covering the debates, so nobody has a chance to read about the positions.  The result is that nothing changes.

What you missed was about Choices!

Your Port Commission creates jobs.

Will they be tourism jobs that pay $13 an hour?
    Do you want to run an aerial tram for $13 per hour?
    Do you want to make beds and wash bathrooms for $13 per hour?
    Do you want to cook for $13 per hour?

Will they be logging Jobs?
    Do you want to log?  I get it.  I did it (cutter in the 70’s.)  Makes good money.  
    And, you know it is ending.  Used to be there were 60 logging trucks a
    day through town.  Now, sometimes we have 3.  How about a different career
    with good pay, one where you’re not looking over your shoulder for a pink

Will you work in good paying Marine and Manufacturing jobs?
    Do you want to work in skilled trades starting at $23 per hour?

What’s the difference tourism and trades?
    Making enough to ask the person you love to marry you.
    Making enough to buy that first house and start a family.
    Going home each night with job skills growth on your mind and pride of

One candidate is focused entirely on new good jobs.  Doc Robinson backs:
Carbon fiber jobs – recycle it and create businesses here to build everything
    from skateboards to drones to auto and boat parts.  And, before we spend a
    dime we make sure our recycled carbon will sell for less and be    as good as
what companies buy now.
Wood production jobs – help our young entrepreneurs succeed at making
and selling wood products – from designer furniture, to bee hives, to
whatever idea they can do well and the markets will buy.  Our men and
women have the woodworking skills, they need loans and local business
trainers so we take our wood, make it into something of beauty and purpose,
employ more people and sell our wood for a lot more money .

Logging jobs – be a thorn in the side of State DNR to open lands.  We don’t
have to sit by and let the state withhold land.  Sure we don’t have control, but
that means we need to be a creative, vocal and visible pain in their backsides.

Pollution cleanup jobs – our Port waters & lands have pollution sites waiting
endlessly for cleanup.  The lawyers have this in the courts and are enjoying
feeding off federal, state and local money with endless delay.  You and I
cannot stop them.  But we can take this time to get ready for the day when
cleanup actually starts.  Business, banks, the City, County, Port and the
College need to work together to make a new private company – Clallam
Pollution Cleanup, Inc.  Pollution cleanup is a growing national and
international business.  We have 7 different sites to train our young men and
women in this career.  When our cleanup begins, our Clallam company needs
to be ready to win the bids and go on to win them elsewhere with our people.

Marine industry jobs – The Port is not close to capacity.  We need to attract
new Marine business.  Meanwhile, Anacortes is slowly squeezing their
Marine Industry because all their new retirees want something else.  Good
for us.  We need to campout over there and show them we are committed to
their success in our deep-water port.

County Labor Rule – We need a new rule.  If you bid on any Port or County
Project fifty percent of your workers must live in Clallam and these jobs must
be evenly distributed across all job levels from trainee to executives.

Tourism – Tourism is good.  It brings cash flow.  But we all know in tourist
jobs the company owners can make money and the employees make $13
per hour.  So, the Port will only lease to small local shops.  Let many of our
people start small tourist businesses.  Do not allow the large tourism
corporations to lease spots in the port.  Anything a corporation can do, three
or four of our local business people can do better.   Then we need anchor
attractions to bring our many visitors down out of the Park and into downtown Port Angeles, Forks and Sequim.  For Port Angeles and John Wayne Marina it might be to buy the old Coast Guard Cutter Enis and John Wayne’s trawler, both are currently for sale and pretty cheap.  A tram has also been proposed and if it can get past the problem of looking in people’s bedroom windows, it is a great idea.  We need to make the National Park, the “other reason” they came to Clallam County.  

Never sell Port land – Old real estate rule.  Land value keeps going up
because they aren’t making any more.  It is a County legacy to be managed for
the benefit of county residents.

The candidate who has these ideas and is talking to as many people as possible to make these ideas better and find new ones is Rick “Doc” Robinson.

This candidate is not currently serving as a Councilman and is not looking to abandon the job he was voted to do.  This candidate does not owe the political parties or the industry groups.  He is not climbing a political ladder to some other job.  This candidate is not holding onto the past.  He is doing everything to help logging while moving forward.  He is Rick “Doc” Robinson.

It’s pretty simple.  Our young men and women need new kinds of jobs.  The Port is our Business Engine.  

The candidate you never heard of, Rick “Doc” Robinson, wants to be your Commissioner to use our Port engine to make new jobs with good pay.  

I want our young people stay here, to make families and buy homes, to build ourselves back to the economy we had when logging was king with 60 trucks a day passing through town.  And it’s a funny thing we see over and over, when our young people feel like they can make it, then they raise kids who think the same and drug use and crime go way down.  It’s time for jobs and change.

All this was in the debate you never saw, with the candidate you do not know.  So whether or not you vote for me, you need to call the PDN and the League to account so you have choice.  

Rick “Doc” Robinson


  1. R2

    The aerial tram I proposed is just the first of several allowing pedestrian traffic from the closest major population center & source of tourist dollars, Victoria. I suggest the first gondola be strung from the waterfront to Peninsula College, to bring walk-on traffic from the ferry to our major cultural venue. A second tram would then run up the relatively lightly populated Mt. Angeles Rd. to the entrance to Olympic National Park. Historically the park administrators have opposed any further permanent installations within it, but if they could be persuaded a tram to the top of Mt. Angeles would reduce vehicle traffic and pollution perhaps we could have a major destination attraction. In winter this might access skiable terrain which climate change is removing from the rope & poma tow hills lower in elevation. Having not looked at topog’ maps of the area I don’t even know if such a plan is feasible. This tram could also access a zip-line, which although earlier rejected may become more interesting as the technology and safety record of such installations improves. Far longer gondolas have been used in Europe for many decades, profitably and safely. If Victoria tourists can save the cost of bringing their cars over we’ll improve both our local traffic density and increase the amount of disposable income they have to spend at local businesses, while giving them a unique and exciting new perspective on our beautiful land. They may also be inspired to tour further afield on the peninsula, providing work for bus companies as well.

  2. R2

    If you want to succeed, copy success. While aerial trams have proven popular and profitable throughout the world for generations, and given the proximity we uniquely enjoy in the region from sea to peaks it seems a natural and logical step to increasing tourist traffic, as well as decrease pollution and traffic for locals, benefiting our quality of life that will attract new businesses. Just getting an aerial view of the environs can inspire other endeavors.

    The scheme to recycle Boeing’s toxic waste, however, has no known precedents. If it was profitable I don’t see why Boeing isn’t doing it themselves, or that some local entrepreneur closer to their supply has not jumped in. Is anyone else in the world recycling carbon fiber waste, and doing it profitably? The commissioners appear to have gotten dazzled by a half-baked scheme that has no known precedent, believing they can make a profit on something the highly-paid engineers and managers at Boeing and in their tech sector have not thought of, or have no interest in profiting from. That seems highly dubious, but if the commissioners want to put forth a competently drafted business plan, explaining how this can work, we should certainly examine it. Just throwing million$ at a fantasy hole in the ground and hoping jobs and tax revenue come out the other end is unwise.

    I also question how many tourists want to see rusting old coast guard vessels and trawlers, even if there are more John Wayne fans to be attracted here. He used to own the entire Ophir Valley, adjacent to Telluride, and to my knowledge it never became a tourist attraction because he summered there. The man was not very nice, according to people I talked to who knew him, and hence preferred his privacy in that mountain valley. Tourists and fans were NOT welcome.

    One definition for a boat is “a hole in the water into which one pours money.” Another saying is “The happiest days of a boat-owner’s life are the one he acquires it, and the one he sells it.” Such vessels will consume scarce dock space that might be occupied by tourist vessels as well. Eventually they’ll likely end up hauled out and scrapped like the Kalakala, when maintenance becomes more expensive than any visitor admission revenue provides. We need more and better facilities for cruise ships, not rusting hulks. Say what you will about $13/hr. jobs — that’s better than WalMart is paying, and low-skilled jobs handling carbon-fiber waste, or telling tourists about John Wayne’s fishing boat are not likely better.

  3. R2

    If we’re going to subsidize carbon-fiber waste jobs we can better use that money as startup fees for worker-owned collectives for tourism ventures, e.g. aerial trams, which when they’ve paid back the investment, provide employee-owners with wages based on their productivity and enthusiasm. There’s no reason we have to let private industry take the lion’s share of income if we have millions to throw at fantasy schemes like recycling carbon waste. Recycling is not a high-skill profession, and its product will be attractive to other industries (if at all) only because it is more economical to use than new material, hence produced by low-wage employees. This just doesn’t make sense, from so many different angles. Why not invest that money in something that will actually improve our quality of life, and increase a known source of income, e.g. toursim, like trams? Our topography and scenery are uniquely appropriate to such use regionally and will make us more attractive as a destination to sightseers on a tight schedule who want to see as much as they can of the area in as short a time allotment as possible. Once they get the lay of the land they’ll likely want to spend more time here, as well.

  4. Nadia Seymour

    I’m sorry to see the PDN and public so disinterested in the workings of our electoral system. A dozen people attending the candidates forum illustrates clearly the extent to which the public is engaged. Or, not.

    I will suggest that those of us that are interested in the future of our communities (Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks, Sekiu/Clallam Bay and unincorporated neighbourhoods) might step back, and look at what has been going on over the last number of decades and try to determine why things are as they are today. As is often said, one cannot fix a problem until one adequately understands the causes. No one undertakes brain surgery just because they have a head ache!

    Mr. Robinson seems to say he is focused “entirely on jobs”. This is similar to what many, if not most candidates for any position state. Sadly, staking out this position appears to reveal that Mr. Robinson, along with other candidates that jump on the “jobs, jobs, jobs” bandwagon, has not been consulting with those in that very field: The Clallam Economic Development Council.

    In reading an article on this very topic in the Port o Call recently, the Executive Director of the EDC reported that good paying jobs offering health and other benefits have been going un-filled. That in interviewing a number of companies and businesses around the county, he was told the same thing by their respective owners. And, even when they hired people, getting them to show up for work was amoungst their greatest challenges.

    How is this to be addressed, candidates? It may seem pro forma to speak about job creation, but if the community’s existing businesses cannot find employees to fill vacant positions, where is the logic in expending resources to attempt attract new businesses to the area?

    Each election cycle comes and goes as candidates offer themselves for service to their communities. And for this, we are grateful. But it seems we are missing the mark, repeatedly. As we see, few believe what is being offered is relevant to them, and their lives.

  5. R2

    The public knows that politicians promises are worth nothing, and those who aspire to power are precisely the type that should be denied it. There are very few decisions such officials make are crisis in nature, and we should be able to decide, by majority rule, most of them. That’s the essence of democracy. We still need representatives to research the issues and inform us so we can make good decisions, but the solution is not taking the power from the people. Down that road lies abuse of power and government for special interests. Does anyone else want democracy?


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