Davis, Heap, Range appoint two to fill seats

Port of Brookings Harbor commissioners appointed Joseph Speirs and Wesley Ferraccioli to fill the remaining open seats on their board at a special meeting June 15.

Ferraccioli began his career in residential dock-construction and eventually became an emergency responder.

“I believe my background and experience would bring value to the port commission. I have real-world experience with many of the activities necessary to the day-to day operation and maintenance of a port,” he said.

Ferraccioli urged the board to seek a balanced approach.

“We need boats and we need businesses, and both must succeed for the port to succeed,” he said.

Speirs said he has run a business at the port and paid for commercial moorage there for more than 30 years.

“We are a small community that takes pride in the port and the many people who earn their livelihood from the day-to-day workings of the port,” he said. “I want to be a voice for those and others who care and want to see the port up and running as it should be.”

According to Interim Port Manager Kathy Lindley Hall, the Curry County Board of Commissioners earlier appointed Kenneth Range and Richard Heap because the port board needed three commissioners to form a quorum. Roy Davis was the only remaining commissioner after the resignations of former Commissioners Andy Martin and Roger Thompson and the recall of Angi Christian and Jan Barbas.

Davis, Heap and Range formed a quorum and were able to appoint the other two seats.

At the beginning of the meeting, six candidates remained in the running after Jacob Presser withdrew from the race, and each spoke for three minutes about their qualifications and goals.

Community members repeatedly recommended the board appoint Joseph Speirs and Leroy Blodgett. Speirs was praised for his helpfulness and knowledge of the port and Blodgett for his government and business experience.

Candidates were scored on a scale of 1 to 7.

Harbormaster Travis Webster tallied the scores. Hall assisted and delivered the sheets to Davis who announced the winners.

Prior to appointing Speirs and Ferraccioli, Davis, Heap and Range elected Davis as board president and Heap as vice president; Range took dual roles as secretary and treasurer.

They will hold these positions for one month, according to Davis. The board will then elect members to hold them until the next election in May.

All five board positions are up for election in May because Davis’s position was set to expire then, and all the other positions on the board are emergency appointments, he said.

Speirs and Ferracioli were sworn in by port employee Kim Boom before the board voted to remove Christian and Barbas as authorized signers on the port’s bank accounts and replace them with the new commissioners.

Davis said he was “thoroughly satisfied with the new board.” He also thanked Hall for a “stupendous job,” and thanked all the staff for riding out the storm.

Davis said the board might discuss rehiring former Port Manager Gary Dehlinger in the process of looking for a permanent manager.

Heap said the recent turmoil with the recalls and resignations did not leave the port broken.

“But what is broken,” he said, “is public trust in this board. And we start fixing that right now.”

Reach Boyd C. Allen at ballen@currypilot.com .

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