The Port of Houston Authority Commission today voted unanimously to approve amendments to the Port of Houston Authority Code of Ethics, which PHA Executive Director Colonel Leonard Waterworth said were recommended by staff following the Texas Sunset Commission review of the port. However, Commissioner Janeice Longoria noted that the review of the code was already in process prior to Sunset review.
“To make the record absolutely clear that we as a commission started work on our code of ethics long before the Sunset Commission began reviewing what we were doing,” Longoria said, giving special credit to Commissioner Steve Phelps. “So, just to make it clear that we were already very proactive about assuring that we have a Code of Ethics that is ‘best in class’ before that occurred.”
A proposal to evaluate and rank competitive sealed proposals regarding trash disposal and recycling services at the Turning Basin Terminal, Woodhouse Terminal, Barbours Cut Terminal, Bayport Terminal and the Fire Barracks was pulled from the agenda at the request of members of the commission and was not considered for action. Chair Jim Edmonds said the item will be on next month’s agenda for action.
The commission voted unanimously to negotiate with Russell Marine LLC for repair of a fender at the 330-foot mark at Wharve No. 1 at CARE Terminal.
In his summary of selected financial and operational results, Waterworth reported that “trends are very strong and consistently moving up to the right”. Listen News Release
Waterworth said total tonnage for September was up four percent from the same period in 2011.
“Operative revenues for the month of September was $18.6 million, about a $1 million increase, or an increase of about six percent,” Waterworth said. “And when you compare that over the year, operating revenues year-to-date in September 2012 was $168 million, a $14.5 million, or a nine percent increase from the prior year.”
Foreign Trade Zone Manager Shane Williams provided an update for the commission and Charles Jenkins, vice president of Strategic Planning reported to the commission on the Houston-Galveston Area Council Clean Air Action Award.
Mark Vincent, director of the Channel Developments Department, updated the commission on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit application for the Barbours Cut Channel Project. Listen
Olga Rodriguez, vice president of Public Affairs, and Michelle Hundley, director of the Community Relations Department, updated the commission on the 2014 Houston Ship Channel centennial celebration and the American Association of Port Authorities annual meeting in Houston. Listen
“About 14 months from now we will begin in earnest a milestone celebration,” Rodriguez said, introducing Hundley, who is the project manager for the event.
“It’s an exciting time,” Hundley said, announcing the establishment of a non-profit organization to raise funds for the celebration. “The name of that organization is Promote Houston 2014.”
The commission voted unanimously to approve two items related to the celebration, including a historical marker to be placed near the M/V Sam Houston Pavilion.
All other items on the PHA Commission agenda were approved unanimously, with Jim Fonteno and Case Lawal absent.
Lucy Bremond, senior manager of the Houston Independent School District's Community Engagement Strategic Partnerships, presented the 2012 Partnership Hall of Fame Award to the port. Listen
Representatives of three economic development organizations made their annual reports to the commission:
- Bob Mitchell, president of Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership. Listen
- Chad Burke, presdent of Economic Alliance Houston Port Region. Listen
- Charles Grant, president of North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce. Listen
Following the port commission meeting the commissioners, acting as the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Harris County Ports, heard a report from Houston Pilots Presiding Officer Captain Robert Thompson on preparations for larger ships that will be calling after the expansion of the Panama Canal; and a report on the pilots’ participation in a recent rescue on the Houston Ship Channel. Listen
Thompson also provided a video of the rescue. Video