Port commissions plan for director to focus on economic development is good plan

Published 9:21 am Thursday, September 8, 2016


he Warren County Port Commission’s decision to seek help from outside experts to choose the next port director is a good move.

Margaret Gilmer, port commission president, said Tuesday the commission has narrowed its search down to two firms. She said the successful headhunter would receive resumes from those interested in the job and will perform an initial screening of applicants. She said it could take up to 12 weeks before the successful recruiting firm would be in a position to make recommendations of candidates.

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The best news to come out of that special port commission meeting Tuesday is the new director’s job primarily would focus on economic development, rather than operations at the port.


Our port has so much to offer, and having someone whose job is to point that out to other businesses and, particularly, to businesses looking for a place to locate or expand, is much needed.

Gilmer said the port commission has a contract with WATCO to manage the port. That fact makes an economic development focus for the port commission director a natural.

We urge the port commission to take things a step further and meet with city and county officials and find a way to coordinate economic development efforts.

That could mean the new port commission director take the lead on that, or it could mean all entities concerned could find one person to market the port, city and county.

We have so much to offer business and industry in Vicksburg and Warren County. Having a coordinated economic development effort is something that will pay dividends for all of us.