A Port of Galveston employee last week filed a police report accusing Wharves Board Trustee Ted O’Rourke of threatening him and Director Rodger Rees during a conversation at a waterfront party.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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(4) comments

Ron Binkley

Enough is enough! Rees and O'Rourke are like water and oil. As a distant third party looking in, it appears that O'Rourke is always the bully. Neither one of the gentleman are perfect but, Rees is doing a good job. Employees don't gang up on another person unless there is a real reason and that appears to be the case. I think it's time to get rid of the negativity and remove the problem which is O'Rourke.

Leigh Cowart

Ad nauseam! Enough reporting in the GDN the petty b/s between the board. Quit giving it ink. It's backstabbing as usual and the war is escalating. We all know it's not going to end well.

Charlotte O'rourke

Two controversies are in this story. I’m going to address only one. The board needs to stop having political fights in public, and the chairman should not allow discussion on personnel items not posted on the agenda. Fighting in public is bad for business.

The main story line should have been - Director of operations text message indicates a loss of 50 RoRo Ship calls and its associated jobs.

When the director of operations sends a text message to a stevedore for a heads up that as of today the port no longer has room for your customers and must vacate the premises by “March 1st” with letters to customers to follow, I don’t think anything else is needed to stir up controversy and fear of lost jobs.

Chairman Shannon must live in a vacuum and expect everyone else to live there if he believes otherwise.

The only option after such a message is discussion to understand the potential impacts and resolve the issue raised by the text message. Blaming anyone for listening to others concerns and trying to address those concerns is not only unrealistic but bad public policy.

In my opinion, staff violated current policy as this was an implied commitment to a course of action that should not occur without board approval in open session.

Staff’s explanation was confusing, but seemed to revolve around that they were negotiating.

If that get off our port property text message was the port’s idea of good faith negotiations, the port definitely needs training.

There was a similar tactic used for VIP vendor parking personnel when the port told them they had to move to a distant parking lot .... when the port did not have the authority to do so. The port was negotiating with the wrong group as there was a contractual obligation with a cruise customer to provide parking close to the terminal.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Let's see if I understand what is happening here (and if Galveston residents in general understand it). In order to promise the Pier 10 area of the Port for the new cruise terminal, the POG must re-locate one of their oldest tenants, who have grown exponentially over the years: Walenius-Wilhelmsen Line (WWL) and American Roll-On Roll-Off (ARC), the American Flag subsidiary of WWL, to the area of Pier 39 thru Pier 41. So, first they broke their lease on Pier 41 with another 20 year+ tenant at Pier 41 (Malin International Ship Repair) who essentially went out of business afterward, and now are terminating their lease with the companies that have been loading and shipping tens of thousands of used automobiles from Piers 39-40 for years now. Rees says they are looking for a place south of Harborside for those thousands of cars which are at any given time waiting for ship arrival to load? If the Port had use of any space that big south of Harborside they would be already using it to park cruise passengers’ cars; and they are. Even if such a space existed, the trucks bringing batches of those cars 6-12 at a time already have the Port’s West Gate severely congested. What will that be like trying to move those cars individually thru the West Gate and moving all the WWL and ARC rolling stock in and out of that gate too? Absolutely impossible, so that story is likely just BS. So in summary, if I have this right, in order to score the new passenger terminal at Pier 10, one long-term major rolling stock cargo tenant must move their entire operation from Pier 10 to Pier 39-41; one long term ship repair tenant lost his lease and is out of business; and two major rolling stock tenants are being sent down the road. AND…they have decided to tell Del Monte, a very long-term tenant who has stuck with this Port thru thick and thin to go find another port too. This rapid abandoning of a diversified business plan and consolidation of all facilities to a single cargo (passengers) is going to bite this Port on the face and all of Galveston with it. And by then the director behind it will be long gone to a greener pasture (port, that is).

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