PORT ANGELES — A former board president of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce last week became the first declared candidate for one of four open Port Angeles City Council positions on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.
Jim Moran, a 68-year-old New Jersey native and former Vietnam War helicopter pilot, said Thursday he will seek the four-year Position 1 seat held by Brad Collins, who is not running for re-election.
“I’ve been in a lot of different organizations, and I thought this was the next logical step up,” said Moran, who moved to Port Angeles with his wife, Marie, from Kent in 2008.
“I enjoy being involved, especially at the highest level,” added Moran, the 2015 chamber board president.
“My board background and extensive business experience can be of great benefit to the city council and the city in general.”
Moran, who has never run for public office, is president and owner of the 401(K) Co. Inc., a third-party administration firm for pension and profit-sharing plans.
He is a board member and treasurer of the Port Angeles Senior & Community Center and treasurer of the Clallam County Historical Society.
Moran also served as director of training for the North Olympic Basketball Officials Association.
Councilmen Patrick Downie and Dan Gase also have said they are not running for re-election.
Councilman Lee Whetham has said he intends to seek re-election to a second term.
Those elections could be nullified if voters approve a ballot measure that could be put before them Nov. 7 that would change the city’s code-city status to second-class-city status.
Opposed to city status change
Moran said he is “absolutely” opposed to the change and will make that position part of his campaign.
“I am really opposed to us giving up local home rule and being regulated by what Olympia dictates rather than what we feel is best here,” he said.
The proposal is advocated by opponents of fluoridation of the city’s municipal water supply, a practice that was stopped in August and which will be the subject of an advisory ballot in the Nov. 7 election.
“I’m a fluoride agnostic,” Moran said. “I can see both sides of the picture.”
Moran said he has not decided if he favors fluoridation and needs to read more about the topic.
“It’s a little premature to give an answer to that question,” he said.
“Whatever the public decides is how I will decide.”
Moran, a Bayonne, N.J., native, has lived in Washington since 1975.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].