Former Warrenton Mayor, City Commissioner, City Manager and Municipal Judge Gilbert Gramson has the Port of Astoria next in his sights. Gramson is running for position number 2 on the Port and told KAST News Wednesday morning that the Port of Astoria suffers from a lack of business transparency and teamwork that would benefit the entire county. Gramson says it is important that those who serve on the countywide body work more closely with the State and Federal government in developing projects that would be of benefit to the entire county. He stated that no one serving on the Port commission should have any significant personal business connections with the Port. He said his contracting business has done very little work with the Port in the past and does not specialize in the kind of work required by the Port.
Gramson was unaware that the Port has been deeply involved with the Port of Busan in South Korea and has actually sent delegations to that country in an effort to stimulate trade and establish a sister port relationship with that foreign port. He pointed to that as an example of the lack of communication with the public and what he believes represents a lack of openess in conducting business. Gramson has gained the endorsement of Clatsop County Commission Board Chairman Peter Huhtala who says of Gramson "...he understands that the Port must foster responsible economic development, while continuing to support our forest and fishing industries. He considers the public an essential partner in the important decisions that affect this region" Former Warrenton Mayor Barbara Balensifer says " Gil's 25 years of enticing businesses and industry into Warrenton demonstrate his dedication to the prosperity of our area".
Gramson appeared on the KAST Morning Show with Tom Freel Wednesday and he stressed during that interview the importance of fostering a teamwork atmosphere among the Port Commissioners and to avoid the pitfalls of attempting to manage Port staff, which has been a continuing issue with some members the Commission. Gramson is one of three men vying for the the position 2 seat. The other two are Steve Fulton who is scheduled to appear on the 8:00am KAST Morning Show Friday. Dave Maki is the third candidate for the position. The Special Election deadline for returned ballots is 8:00pm Tuesday, May 21.