Friday, August 5, 2011

Two New Commissioners Approved For Long Beach Port Board

The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday approved the appointment of two new commissioners to the governing board for the Port of Long Beach.

Longshore union official Rich Dines and former Long Beach City Council member Doug Drummond received unanimous approval from the council to fill the two vacant seats on the five-member commission which oversees and sets policy for the port.

"Rich Dines probably knows the port better than anyone that works there every day," Mayor Bob Foster said.

"He is a very capable individual who I expect will do a great job in making sure that the air quality improvements continue, that the infrastructure investments continue, and maybe, most important of all, that there are improvements in how we handle cargo--so we can handle greater volumes at greater velocities. I know he is committed to that."

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).

"When it comes to competition," Dines told the council, "I see if first hand each day. I realize how important it is to this port and to this city that we remain competitive and I believe that goes hand in hand with job creation."

Foster also praised Drummond, a 29-year veteran of the Long Beach Police Department who also served as a Long Beach City Council member from 1990 to 1998 and served as the city's vice-mayor from 1994 to 1996.

Drummond's background with the LBPD comes as City Hall moves toward absorbing the port's internal security operations into the city police department.
"I think Doug's law enforcement background in particular will be very helpful as we try to more fully to integrate some of the law enforcement issues and security issues with the city," Foster said.

Drummond told the council that he believes job creation and security at the port are two key concerns. He also made clear his stand on the typically sacrosanct semi-autonomous relationship the port has held with City Hall.

"I also want to assure you that I will work very closely with the city council with respect to the port," Drummond said. "It, to me, is the City of Long Beach Harbor Department."

Dines and Drummond will attend their first port commission meeting next Monday.