Council appoints new planning commissioner
By Tara Nelson
In a unanimous decision Monday, Blaine City Council voted to approve the appointment of Timothy Ventura to the vacancy on the city’s planning commission.
The decision came after recently-appointed planning commissioner Robert Caine, a real estate developer who primarily does business in Vancouver, resigned two days after city council gave him their nod of approval.
Ventura, 32, said he moved to Blaine in 2007 and is currently employed as an information technology coordinator and application support professional for Norman G. Jensen, a customs broker in Blaine. He earned his high school diploma from Ferndale high school in 1994 and his bachelor of arts degree in business administration from South Puget Sound College in Olympia in 2000.
Before moving here, Ventura worked for AT&T Wireless as an e-commerce manager as well as a general department manager in Olympia. While there, he managed a $10 million budget and 400 employees.
When asked where he envisions Blaine heading in the next few years, Ventura said he would like to see the city achieve a more balanced approach to growth that allows for more density while maintaining the small-town quality of life residents currently enjoy.
“I’d like to see Blaine find a more happy medium between being pro business and supporting small-town values,” Ventura said. “There are a lot of examples we can take from White Rock, but I don’t think anyone wants the skyrocketing property values. It’s one of those things you try to get the best of both worlds.”
He added that Blaine is possibly one of the most important cities in the state in terms of being a “de facto hub of international commerce,” but that it often bears the burden in maintaining infrastructure and making upgrades to accommodate traffic that largely skips town.\
“There are a lot of really great things going on here,” he said. “You have this metropolitan growth from the south pushing north and then you’ve got Vancouver’s growth pushing south. Blaine is where it all meets.”
“The thing that strikes me is it seems like Blaine carries the burden of a lot of transportation of commerce that occurs in Bellingham or Seattle. All of those people are coming through Blaine but they’re not stopping. I would like to explore the question of how do we increase that stickiness? We’re paying the cost but Bellingham and Seattle are reaping the benefits.”
Ventura will fill a vacant position on the commission left by Paul Greenough, who left in May when he was appointed to serve on the city council. Greenough now represents Semiahmoo, the city’s third ward.
Other city news
The city of Blaine announced Tuesday it will begin accepting bids for the reconstruction of Boblett Street from Mitchell to Peace Portal and for Clark Street from Peace Portal to Third Street.
The project is estimated to cost $1.75 million to $2.25 million and will include street resurfacing, as well as curb, gutter and sidewalk, landscaping and utility improvements, as designed by Perteet Engineering.