Friday, September 10, 2010

Portland Port's Top Exec Given Raise

The governing board for the Oregon state Port of Portland on Wednesday approved a 7 percent raise for port Executive Director Bill Wyatt, raising his salary to $321,000 a year.

Following a glowing recommendation offered by commissioners, the four-member port board was also set to approve a $29,210 bonus, which Wyatt promptly refused.

Last year, in the face of port-wide staff reductions and furloughs, Wyatt took a 10 percent cut in his salary. However, Wednesday's 7 percent increase was calculated on Wyatt's salary before last year's cut.

By comparison, the executive directors of the nation's two busiest port, Los Angeles and Long Beach, each make around $300,000 a year.

Prior to approving the raise, the four members of the Portland port commission each praised Wyatt for his leadership during the tough economic times of 2009. They pointed to moves he had taken that saved more than three dozen port jobs and his leadership during the construction of the port's new $241 million headquarters complex located at Portland International Airport.

While Portland struggled through 2009 like most ports on the West Coast, the port authority has seen a recent positive turn around in air traffic through Portland International as well as increases in Columbia River barge traffic.