Steve Johnston

for Edmonds Port Commissioner
About SteveWhy it Matters

Steve Johnston

for Edmonds Port Commissioner
About SteveWhy it Matters

“I bring a strong resume of business, maritime, and environmental experience to the Port Commission, and a solid track record as a Commissioner in strong fiscal management. I enjoy the support of many bipartisan community leaders, port district residents, and tenants. I would greatly appreciate your vote to continue the Port’s unparalleled record of success and community contribution.”

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Providing Economic Development Opportunities

The Port’s Marina and maritime ventures, along with its commercial buildings, provide the base for many local businesses, which create hundreds of family wage jobs. The Port’s impressive and growing revenues, combined with our effective control of expenses and bonding costs, have allowed us to keep Port taxes low for the past 10 years in the face of ever-increasing local taxes. Steve Johnston will build on these financial successes, including Harbor Square, continuing to create family-wage jobs at our Port, our commercial facilities, and throughout the Edmonds community.

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Protecting Our Environment

With nearly four decades of experience managing environmental projects for public ports and other private and public organizations, along with living and raising a family here in the Edmonds community, Steve Johnston recognizes the importance of being a strong steward of our waterfront environment. Water quality, the preservation and enhancement of the Marsh and environmentally friendly building and renovation projects are top priorities.

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Creating Public Value and Amenities

Our waterfront is part of the lifeblood of the community – Edmonds would not be Edmonds without a vibrant and successful Port and Marina. Steve Johnston will work to maintain and enhance our spectacular waterfront for residents, visitors and boaters, provide unparalleled recreational and economic opportunities for our award-winning marina, and build on the success of our whale watching venture, waterfront festivals, jazz, and art events.

Steve Johnston – Providing Economic Development Opportunities

When people think of the Port of Edmonds, they often think of the Marina — sailboats, fishing boats, etc. But the Port is much more than just the Marina and water-based activities.

The Port owns and operates commercial and office buildings along the Port waterfront and in Harbor Square that are occupied by businesses with nearly 500 employees, contributing substantially to the economic well-being of the greater Edmonds/Woodway community.

The Harbor Square Athletic Club, Best Western hotel, Jacobson’s Marine, the building housing Arnie’s restaurant and additional businesses are on land leased to their owners by the Port. These businesses enhance the quality of life in the community by providing recreation, tourism, tax revenue, and additional employment at the Port.

The highly successful Puget Sound Express whale watching venture is also based at the Port, attracting thousands of tourists per year to the waterfront. Most spend a few hours at the restaurants and shops along the waterfront and downtown Edmonds before or after their whale watching adventure.

The Port owns its Harbor Square commercial and office buildings outright, having paid off the last of its Harbor Square debt in 2020. Port properties are substantial revenue generators for the Port and community.
The Port worked hard to help ensure the viability of our tenants during the pandemic. We extended rent relief to those who requested it, which helped keep them in business and their employees working during the prolonged economic downturn and into the current economic rebound.

Looking to the future: New economic opportunities will be created at the Port’s proposed new administration/office building which will be located across the street from Anthony’s. The building, scheduled for completion in 2022, will include retail space for future businesses on the ground floor. Also, in conjunction with required reconstruction of the North Seawall and Portwalk over the next several years, removal of the existing obsolete Port administration building will provide opportunity for enhanced public access to the waterfront.

Preserving and building on this success is a key priority for Steve Johnston. With decades of direct business experience, Steve knows how to make the Port of Edmonds not only a beautiful place to be, but a driver for the local economy.

Steve Johnston – Protecting Our Environment

For over four decades, Steve Johnston has lived and raised a family in Edmonds — and respecting, protecting, and enhancing the waterfront and Edmonds Marsh are high priorities for him. As a long-time environmental professional, Steve has extensive experience in assessing the environmental impacts of new projects and policies on the natural environment as well as developing effective mitigation to reduce or eliminate potential impacts to nearby natural resources. He has brought this experience to the Port on more than a dozen projects, including several at Harbor Square.

Steve is particularly proud of the fact that the Port of Edmonds remains a recognized environmental leader among public ports.

In the past 5 years, the Port has consolidated its environmental plans and policies into an easy to access environmental practices manual, and reviewed and improved many of these practices. We developed a comprehensive program for herbicide/pesticide use at the Port, including elimination of their use near the waterfront and Marsh, as well as field testing, analysis, and adoption of alternative non-toxic methods for reducing weeds and pests in landscaped areas of the Port.

We have improved the treatment of our stormwater through enhanced filtration, using crushed oyster shells to capture contaminants in runoff from paved surfaces before they can be discharged to surface water. We have advanced the use of this technology beyond our boatyard by developing portable filtration canisters that can be installed in our stormwater collection basins anywhere at the Port, expanding the technology to Harbor Square and other areas of the waterfront.

We meet or exceed all required environmental regulations and standards, as exemplified by our consistently passing environmental inspections conducted by the State and County.

We are nearing the end of a process of replacing the aging HVAC systems at Harbor Square with high-efficiency electric systems and converting all lighting at the Port to LED lighting, at a significant savings in energy. We recently conducted substantial upgrades at Building 3 in Harbor Square, including structural repairs, new energy efficient windows, insulation, and other improvements to tighten the buildings’ envelope and make it more environmentally friendly. In past years, we incorporated environmentally friendly roofs on all buildings, substantially reducing the potential for contamination in runoff from Harbor Square.

We plan to build a new Port administration building to LEED silver standards, with the option of going to gold, if found to be cost-feasible as we progress, creating a green, highly energy-efficient building. The building will also be designed to include a roof-top solar array, with the capacity of providing up to 10 percent of the building’s energy needs. We will be incorporating energy efficient lighting and environmentally friendly materials as part of our planned Portwalk improvements taking place over the next few years.

Steve Johnston understands the importance of strong environmental stewardship, and is working to make the Port a clean, safe and sustainable part of the community.

Steve Johnston for Port of Edmonds - Edmonds Marsh

“As a member of the Port’s Environmental Committee, I am proud of our work conducting comprehensive review and improvement of many of the Port’s environmental practices and policies, including improvements in stormwater treatment, continued “greening” of the Port’s buildings, and elimination of herbicide and pesticide application in near-water areas, among other measures, underscoring the Port’s commitment to environmental improvement and sustainability.”

– Steve Johnston

Steve Johnston – Creating Public Value and Amenities

I am proud of being part of the Port team that is embarking on one of the most ambitious projects the Port has undertaken since the reconstruction of the marina in the mid-1990s—one that will add great public value and an impressive public amenity to our already beautiful waterfront.

Our North Seawall, which supports the very popular north pedestrian waterfront walkway, or Portwalk, needs replacement.  The Portwalk extends from the Port’s current administration building north to the north breakwater beyond the municipal pier.  Constructed in the late 1960s, many of the supporting elements of the Portwalk (the underlying vertical and batter piles) are deteriorated or damaged.  While not an immediate threat to public safety, they have been assessed as having only about 5 to 10 years of life left. 

The Port has decided that it is time to implement the process of reconstructing the North Seawall support pile structure. Planning and permitting is underway, with reconstruction planned for completion in 2024. The necessary reconstruction will allow the Port to make substantial improvements to the design and function of the Portwalk, resulting in a more visionary, attractive, and usable public amenity.  The new Portwalk will be designed using incorporated glass blocks to allow light to pass through to underlying waters, facilitating safe fish passage and improving the nearshore marine environment. In addition to the new ADA compliant walking surface, the Portwalk will have improved lighting, interpretive and historic signage, artwork, planters, and table and bench areas. The new Portwalk will provide an even more pleasant waterfront access amenity for the greater Edmonds/Woodway community, attracting residents and tourists alike.

Additionally, the Port is embarking on the development of a new administration building to replace the aging building currently housing the Port offices and maintenance shop. This new building, located east of Admiral Way across from Anthony’s, will be an attractive, state-of-the art facility designed to LEED standards that will support the Port’s administrative and maintenance activities, while providing additional retail space to enhance economic opportunities.  The site of the former building on the marina waterfront will be opened up for future public amenities, such as restrooms and other possible Portwalk support amenities.

Preserving and building on this success is one of Steve Johnston’s key priorities. With a strong record as a Port Commissioner, and decades of direct business and environmental permitting experience, he knows how to make the Port of Edmonds not only a beautiful and vibrant place to enjoy, but a driver for the local economy.

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