Port tack - Page 2

New members of the Oakland Port Commission represent fresh perspectives on environmental concerns

"We have to be unified in resolving these issues."

Ray King, general manager of marine operations at the port, told the Guardian that a tentative outline of the port's plan will be posted to its Web site in the coming weeks, after which it will accept public comments for 30 days.

City Council president Ignacio de la Fuente had been Gordon's key opposition in July. He told the Oakland Tribune that an appointee was needed "who understands [the port's] need to be competitive, to be efficient, and to grow. The fact is, we have the responsibility for balance." But at the Oct. 2 meeting, he called Gordon "a great asset" and said her appointment will lead to "the creation of a balanced Port Commission."

For the past year and half Gordon has sat on the cabinet-level working group appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that developed allocation guidelines and detailed clean-air requirements for more than $3 billion in Proposition 1B bond funds approved by California voters last year for port expansion and environmental mitigation projects. Port spokesperson Libby Schaaf told the Guardian that its success in securing these funds will play a central role in its expansion plans.

Councilmember Brooks, the sole vote against Gordon, worries that the plan could hurt the port's fiscal viability. "This is the fourth-largest port in the US. This is the economic engine of the region. We need to ensure that we move in a direction where it will continue to grow. The port is getting ready to see some very tight times," she said at the meeting. "I told the mayor I hope he proves me wrong with this appointment."

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