Parsons applied for and was hired to be the port’s general manager last March. It was a quick learning curve for him but with the port’s citizens advisory committee helping with the budget, it was completed on time to make the July 1st deadline for submittal to Salem.
Parsons recommended that a number of port employees get pay raises due to what he termed low wages for the work they were doing. He also helped to assemble a plan to begin addressing serious maintenance and repair problems at Port Docks 5 and 7, among others. He also began developing a financial recovery program for the port through moorage and dock rental increases, landing fees and other revenue streams. But they were pared back after complaints by the fishing community. As a result, the rate increase that was adopted reflected the same rate increase as last year. The port’s maintenance situation has been seriously deteriorating for years.
Prior to Parson’s hiring, Operations Director Aaron Bretz was the interim port manager after the departure of former Port Manager Kevin Greenwood. No official word yet on whether Bretz will be tapped to be interim manager again, or whether the commission already has a candidate in mind to replace Parsons.