Friday, July 22, 2011

Labor Leader and Former Council Member Nominated for Long Beach Port Board

Mayor Bob Foster announced June 19 that he has appointed longshore union official Rich Dines and former Long Beach City Council member Doug Drummond to fill two seats on the Port of Long Beach's five-member governing board.

"I’m pleased to appoint Rich Dines and Doug Drummond to the Harbor Commission," Foster said. "Between the two, they have extensive knowledge of both the port and the City of Long Beach. I’m confident that they will both serve the Harbor Commission well."

Rumors had swirled for months that the seat on the port commission vacated by Mario Cordero in June – when he took a seat on the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington, DC – would be filled by a representative of the port labor community. Dines' name was prominently mentioned in connection with the possible appointment.

Dines represents more than 20,000 dockers from San Diego to Fresno as the President of the Southern California District Council of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). He also serves as the SCDC's representative to the FuturePorts organization, a board member of the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network and sits on the Policy and Steering Committee for California State University Long Beach’s Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT).

A second seat on the port board was opened with the revelation by Foster that port commissioner Mike Walter had tendered his resignation from the port board last month. Walter, a highly-regarded business educator and local philanthropist, was first appointed to a six-year term on the port board in July 2005.

"I hoped to be in a position through which I could make a major difference," Walter told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "However, this is not the situation, and the probability of that occurring in the near term appears very low. Therefore, I do not wish to be considered for another term on the Board of Harbor Commissioners."

Set to fill Walter's seat, Drummond served as a Long Beach City Council member from 1990 to 1998, serving as the city's vice-mayor from 1994 to 1996. A 29-year veteran of the Long Beach Police Department, Drummond recently served on the board of directors for the Long Beach Transportation Company, the city's public transit agency. During his tenure on the City Council, Drummond also served as a board member of the Southern California Association of Governments and the Gateway Cities/Council of Governments representing 26 L.A. County cities. He is also a past president of the Long Beach Historical Society.

Drummond's background with the LBPD comes as City Hall moves toward absorbing the port's internal security operations into the city police department.

Dines and Drummond now face a review by the city's Personnel and Civil Service Committee and final approval by the City Council.