In response to the editorial “We’re back in the problem area” (The Daily Astorian, Sept. 12): The recent Port of Astoria commissions have never gotten the proper credit for significant job creation. There have been 50 jobs created at Westerlund Log Handlers, augmented by 17 longshore jobs, directly attributable to commission decisions that were opposed in The Daily Astorian. There are additional jobs – Englund Marine, port security, etc. – the base work done by the Port.

The Port is on the right track after near catastrophic blunders in the past, and one recent blunder of underestimating and underfunding the Connect IV grant. The Peter Gearin debacles, and Jack Crider’s mistake of overestimating revenue, and consequently overspending, are being rectified with a steady stream of revenue from cargo exports.

Are there additional challenges? Of course. Will there be some contentiousness? Certainly. Can Portland or Salem run our business better than our local, elected officials? Not a chance. Look how Salem handled the gillnetting issue, for a very current reflection of their attitude toward Clatsop County.

In the same vein, we need a new executive port director who has roots and is vested in the community, and is not here as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.


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