After several years of being adrift with financial uncertainties and worsening port facility maintenance, the Newport Port Commission on Tuesday is expected to hire an interim port manager while yet another new permanent port manager is recruited and hired. The last port manager was fired after a very short time on the job. The port manager before him struggled for several years trying to get the port some traction on finishing up the International Terminal but couldn’t close a deal with outside business interests.
There are two names on the list of potential interim port managers – Teri Dresler who was recently the Interim Director of the Metropolitan Oregon Zoo in Portland through June of 2016. The other candidate is a familiar face and always a force to be reckoned with, Don Mann, who was Newport’s port manager for nearly ten years and who left the job abruptly in 2014.
Mann was a driving force behind the voter-approved $15.4 million dollar bond to renovate the International Terminal, which has yet to be finished. Mann was also largely responsible for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration picking Newport as their west coast headquarters – moving to Newport from Seattle.
Soonafter Mann’s departure new Port Manager Kevin Greenwood struggled to land a business partner to finish up the International Terminal. But his efforts failed and the port ended up losing a large grant, aimed at the International Terminal, that had been awarded to the port by the state and federal governments.
On Tuesday, the Port Commission, which has also had substantial commissioner turn-over in the last few years, will go into executive session at noon and is expected to emerge and name a new interim port manager while a “new permanent” manager is selected – hopefully within a few months.