At Tuesday’s Commission meeting, after more than 16 years of service, District 1 Commissioner Chuck Caldwell announced his intent to resign as Port Commissioner effective July 31, 2018.
“It is after long and careful consideration, I announce my resignation,” stated Commissioner Caldwell. “While it has been an absolute honor to serve the citizens of Grays Harbor County over the past 16 years and I am incredibly proud of the business diversification and growth at the Port during this time, it is now time for me to focus my energy on other important areas of my life. I will continue to be a supportive citizen and ready volunteer to promote any Port initiatives that will continue to expand the service and opportunities for the people of Grays Harbor County.”
Commissioner Caldwell joined the Port of Grays Harbor Commission in 2002, representing East Grays Harbor as District 1 Commissioner. During his tenure, the Port has experienced significant growth and diversification; international trade at the 4 deep-water Marine Terminals has reached over 2 million tons annually, commercial fishing activity increased as a result of seafood processors investing in the Westport Marina district, the 1,800 acre Satsop Business Park was added to the Port’s property portfolio making room for new jobs, and more than $50 million in Port infrastructure projects have been completed to better serve the growing economic base.
An advocate for recreational access to the waterfront, Commissioner Caldwell was also involved in the transfer of privately owned recreational properties, Friends Landing and Sterling Landing, to the Port of Grays Harbor in 2014 and a strong supporter of enhancements to the Westport Marina boat launch and 28th Street Landing and boat launch to ensure these vital waterfront access facilities are preserved and accessible for all to enjoy.
“Commissioner Caldwell’s leadership has been instrumental to the growth we have experienced throughout the Port’s facilities over the past 16 years,” shared Port Executive Director Gary Nelson. “His service and commitment to improving Grays Harbor for all citizens, but especially those he represented in District 1, has been unwavering. He will be greatly missed by his fellow commissioners, staff, customers and partners throughout the port industry.”
Per state law, the two remaining Port Commissioners will appoint a new Commissioner from District 1 within 90 days of the resignation. The Port is in the process of developing procedures and a schedule to fill the vacant position but expects to begin accepting applications in the coming weeks. Once appointed, the new commissioner will serve the remainder of Commissioner Caldwell’s term which will be up for reelection in November 2019.
Founded in 1911, the Port of Grays Harbor is one of Washington State’s oldest port districts and Washington’s only deep-water port located directly on the Pacific Ocean. The Port of Grays Harbor operates 4 deep-water marine terminals, the Westport Marina, Bowerman Airport, Grays Harbor ship assist services, numerous public waterfront access facilities, in addition to industrial and business parks throughout the County. Strategically located midway between Seattle and Portland and only 1 ½ hours from open sea, the Port of Grays Harbor provides businesses a diverse portfolio of facilities. More information on the Port of Grays Harbor’s facilities and operations is available at portofgraysharbor.com.