Kennewick Port executive speaks to Tri-Cities Young Professionals

A local port director is encouraging area young professionals to get involved in their community.

Tim Arntzen, Port of Kennewick director spoke to about 60 young professionals at the February group meeting at Backbone Panini and Wine Bar in downtown Kennewick.

Arntzen presented the Port’s plans for Clover island and waterfront development in Kennewick, including the new yacht club building and a planned 62-foot tall lighthouse on Clover Island.

Anrtzen said he wanted to make Clover Island appealing to young people and families, with walking paths and waterfront development, but to do that he needs to know what young professionals want.

“We want you to stand up and say something,” Artnzen said. He encouraged young professionals to apply for positioins on any of the six committees with current openings. Applications for those positions closed February 27.

A brainstorming session in January revealed a greater desire to know what’s going on in  the communities, said Nathan Craghill, YPTC steering committee member.

“We thought it would be a good idea to have the Port come in and tell us what they’re planning to do and what they want from us,” he said.

Arntzen attended the meeting, where young professionals were on their hands and knees rebuilding the community with maps and Legos.

Arntzen’s presentation is part of the YPTC’s new format, said Angie Mykel, chairwoman of the group. Each meeting will have a specific focus, ranging from waterfront development, to the wine industry, Hanford and education.

“We want to let people know what’s going on,” Craghill said. “Unless they search for it and go to (city council or port) meetings on their own, there’s not a lot of information out there.”

The new format will help educate YPTC members, most whom have lived in the Tri-Cities for less than three years, in what is happening in the community.

“We wanted to find a way to report back on the information and what’s going on,” Craghill said.

Speakers are planned through 2009 and most of the presentations will be less than 30 minutes. At an upcoming meeting, Craghill and the other leaders of the group will go over meeting conduct — like the right time for public comment.

The March focus is public meetings and getting involved. Members have been asking for more ways to lead committees and help with organizations, Mykel said. This will give them some of the tools and contacts to do it.


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