Interim Port of Newport Manager Teri Dressler and Port Commission President Stuart Lamerdin spoke to the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and gave an update on the Port. They spoke about House Bill 2284 and the affects it would have on the port. Some of the things this bill would do is to change the name to Oregon International Port Of Newport.
It would also have the commissioners appointed by the governor instead of by district vote for staggered two year terms instead of three. Those positions would also be defined according to an industry or business. The current commissioners would complete their term unless the Governor decided to terminate their term earlier. Commissioner Lamerdin said the port commission opposes the bill.
"I can speak for the commission in saying that the commission does not support this bill and doesn't feel that it is in the best interest of the Port District." However Lamerdin went on to say if the bill does continue to move forward they would suggest some modifications. "One of the most important amendments to any bill that moves forward, and certainly what the Port Commission will be advocating for is that any bill like this gets put before the port district."
The Port Commission met in a special meeting and reviewed a proposed resolution opposing House Bill 2284. Dressler told the commissioners that the bill has not yet been assigned to a committee. Commissioner Jeff Lakey stated that he does not see a need for this bill and feels it is not in the port's best interest.
He said "everything the port has done in the past and it's successes have been because of a locally elected commission, the resolution has to be very specific about how the commission feels about the bill." The commissioners also pointed out the need to get the word out to the legislature and the coastal caucus of the current and future plans for the port. The port commission unanimously approved to create a resolution opposing HB 2284.