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Business & Industry
Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves
by Jim Guidry
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves today voted unanimously to promote Deputy Port Director Michael Mierzwa, who previously was designated acting director in the wake of the announced resignation of Port Director Steve Cernak, to the position of permanent port director with an annual salary of $220,000. Release
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The motion by Benny Holland included a provision that the wharves board launch a search for a “second in charge, who we could transition into being the port director in the future”.

Mierzwa, in an interview with Guidry News Service and Laura Elder of the Galveston County Daily News said he supports the search for a deputy director who could replace him someday. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

“I turned 64 in January so I will probably look to retire within the next two or three years,” Mierzwa said.  “We have a lot on our plate here, a lot of diverse things on our plate; and they want to bring someone in and have an opportunity for us to work together as a team so we can smoothly transition – at that time, when I actually do retire.”

The board voted to approve a lease agreement with Texas, Mexico & Pacific Railroad, LLC for the port’s 185 acres located on the northeast corner of Pelican Island. 
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“We certainly support the efforts of the board of directors of the Port of Galveston and the staff led by Mr. Peterlin and Mr. Quiroga,” said John Helsley, president of the railroad company.  “This has been a very tough endeavor to piece together and it’s taking a lot of due diligence on everyone’s part.”

The board discussed, but took no action on the pending closing of the purchase of the Shearn Moody Plaza Parking Garage, and voted to defer action on the purchase of the adjacent property that is now owned by 2418 Strand Corp., LLC, a subsidiary of Mitchell Historic Properties.  Wharves board attorney Hulse Wagner said that the closing of the purchase of the parking garage has been approved and is scheduled, but that additional action may be necessary for closing of the purchase of the Mitchell property at the next meeting on February 24. 
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Earlier, architect Jeffrey Brown reviewed the design of the terminal with the wharves board.  Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

All other agenda items were approved.  All votes were unanimous, except that John Tindel abstained on acceptance of the vendor check register. Agenda

Former wharves board member Charlotte O'Rourke addressed the wharves board about plans for management of the new Downtown Transportation Terminal.
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"The problem I have with the wharves board managing it is that you already have so many management problems," she said.




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Jim Guidry Commentaries GCC Guidry News Gazette Bay Area Houston


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