In review of Edward Stratton’s story about the squabble between the Port’s Matt McGrath and its executive director, Jim Knight, it is disturbing that Chester Trabucco should be dragged into the mix on a credibility issue ("Former Port of Astoria second-in-command blasts executive director," The Astorian, May 24).

I am a fishing guide residing at the Riverwalk Inn two months every year during the fishing season since 2013.

Days after Brad Smithart evicted all of the hotel guests in August 2015, locals Trabucco and Bill Orr reopened the Riverwalk, delivering an overnight transformation to the good. Without promise of a future, they updated the hotel, inarguably enhancing both the guest experience and the inn’s value.

I have watched Chester help his employees when they were in financial need, or looked for assistance with their personal lives — he has been a good steward of both the Riverwalk and the Chinook building, and an asset to the community.

Following the rules of order, negotiations of all significant Port leases rest almost solely with the executive director. Thus, it is the director’s job, not the tenant’s, to communicate with staff about lease discussions with final decisions required to be voted on by the Port Commission.

So, any accusations of “back-room negotiations” on the part of Chester are unfounded, with the real disconnect and credibility issues being not with him (or any of the Port’s tenants), but instead lie squarely on director Knight for his lack of responsiveness and communication with his own staff and the Port Commission regarding ongoing discussions.




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