Port of Vancouver commissioner Brian Wolfe announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election this fall. He’s vacating his seat after nearly 12 years on the job.
Wolfe said he’ll be stepping down at the end of this year to spend more time with his wife.
Wolfe has supported a massive oil-by-rail project proposed for the port. He said increased pressure from opponents of the oil terminal have been taxing on him and his family.
“The project is a good project for the port, but I am concerned about the divisiveness it’s caused within the community,” said Wolfe in an interview by phone.
“I feel strongly about the project and about my ability personally to get through the anger of the folks who might be out there opposing me,” Wolfe added. “But I didn’t want to put my wife through that turmoil.”
Wolfe recently voted in favor of extending the lease for the proposed Vancouver Energy oil terminal, backed by Tesoro-Savage. If built, it would be the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the country.
Shortly after Wolfe’s decision not to seek re-election, small business owner Don Orange announced plans to run for his seat.
Orange operates Hoesly Eco Automotive in downtown Vancouver, which touts itself as a green auto-repair business. He has also testified against the terminal at several port meetings.
“This is a choice of what our economy should look like,” said Orange. “It is a choice of having a vibrant small business economy, or becoming a big oil town.”
In 2015, Port Commissioner Eric LaBrant won his seat running on an anti-oil terminal platform. Port Commissioner Jerry Oliver supports the oil terminal and has voted in favor of the project.
Port Commissioner Brian Wolfe’s term expires Dec. 31.