For some people who make their living off the Port of Galveston, the afterglow from the port’s agreement to build a new cruise terminal has faded quickly amid questions about what kinds of jobs will be available on the waterfront in coming years.

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


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(3) comments

Miceal O'Laochdha

John: How about asking where is the 20 year + tenant that had been Pier 41 (and Pier 14 prior to Pier 41)? Their lease was good until 2027 (the lease is public information available on POG website), so what happened to them? Looking into and reporting on what has become of this long-term Galveston business (and all their employees!) might just be worth the newspaper’s efforts. It might be instructive to all residents about how business other than passenger ships is being conducted at the Port nowadays.

Charlotte O'rourke

🤔 The Port would say, gee Mr. O’Laochdha, you are too early, premature, and are stirring up controversy and you are wrong to even ask those type of questions at this time.

Of course, by the time staff deems it’s ok to discuss or bring it to the public board, in reality it is really way too late. Port officials are telling the public one thing and stakeholders something entirely different (e.g. VIP parking, repositioning long term customers).

Reality check - the port’s Master Plan calls for $72 million over the next 5 years for cruise projects (in addition to RCLs $100 investment). Just like in past administrations where public revenues went for cruise business, staff raises, bonuses, and benefits, will anything be left over for cargo/maritime infrastructure improvements through operating revenues? If the port plan was really to successfully move all current customers, the port would have already started the transition plan to negotiate and purchase or lease property instead of telling stakeholders via text message the property must be vacated before March 1st. All without determining customers needs during the 18 month Master Plan and if an adequate ROI can be achieved and an mutually beneficial agreement reached.

From a staff and majority board that thinks a bike path is a top tier priority item and refuse to believe stakeholders that are coming forward telling a different story than the party line, I don’t think so.

But one can still hope that the current trajectory is altered, and the board wakes up to its oversight job.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Charlotte, I think the only way the Wharves Board will "wake up" is to have the Council start appointing more maritime industry professionals to the Board. Two seats for people who know what a ship is and what it does is not sufficient. How many times in recent years have POG tenants urged the Board to come and visit their facilities and learn about them, only to be refused in favor of a lovely little boat trip up and down the channel? There are Board members right now who could not find their way to the West Gate without staff driving them.

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