But seriously, folks, five commissioners?

Port of Bremerton commissioner Bill Mahan, apparently auditioning for a post-retirement gig as a standup comedian, got off a howler last week when he announced the board needed to be expanded from three commissioners to five.

But the real punchline came later, when he insisted he hadn’t decided yet whether to run for another term when his expires in December 2011.


Asked why on earth the Port of Bremerton needed a board of directors as large as the Port of Seattle’s, Mahan suggested — with a straight face, no less — the extra two commissioners might have prevented the port’s 2006 pratfall, when the three-member board voted unanimously to raise property taxes to expand the still largely vacant Bremerton Marina.

Mind you, those same three votes would have been enough to pass the measure had there been five commissioners.

Even more hilariously, Mahan was one of the three who voted enthusiastically for it back then, so evidently even he realizes we need to be protected from his comedic impulses.

For his encore, Mahan went on to explain that by adding two more members to the board, commissioners need no longer “be worried so much about violating the Open Meeting Law when they run into another commissioner at a coffee shop.”

So in other words, the taxpayers need to spend $70,000 to hold two more elections, plus pay an additional pair of commissioners a salary of $900 a month just so Mahan won’t have to find another Starbucks to frequent?

Stop, you’re killing us.

Larry Stokes and Roger Zabinski, Mahan’s fellow commissioners, it should be noted, were justifiably unamused by their colleague’s latest attempt at slapstick — as, no doubt, the voters will be if he’s serious about seeking a return engagement next year.

It’s just a pity we’ll have to wait that long to see the port’s Prince of Mirth take his act on the road.

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