Knope of the Week: Port of Portland


After a long holiday break including a brief jump off the fiscal cliff, the Knope of the Week is rested and ready to anoint the standouts in the local government arena for 2013. This year recipients will not only the incredible fame and glory associated with the award, but they will be recognized with a token of appreciation that will only be known by the recipients.

Before we move forward, take a look back at the 52 recipients in 2012. Each recipient will tell you that life has change drastically with the recognition, similar to a lottery winner minus the money and notoriety. ELGL proudly notes that before awarding a Knope of the Week we test each potential recipient individual for performance enhancing drugs. We also proudly note that those individuals have no idea that they’ve ever been tested.

Now onto the beginning of a new year, the first recipient(s) for 2013 is the……

Port of Portland

Bill Wyatt, Executive Director

Martha Richmond, Media Relations Manager

Melissa Gall, Public Affairs Administrative Coordinator

Brooke Berglund, Tour and Outreach Manager

Jayson Shanafelt, Public Affairs Intern

The Knope of the Week plaque will have to make extra space to accommodate the group effort of the Port of Portland staff responsible for the ELGL forum. The roughly 30 ELGL members in attendance were treated to a first-class operation evident from the incredible staff to the new age coffee machine to the futuristic lobby. The Port of Portland headquarters is an episode of Portlandia waiting to happen.

During member introductions, we learned that many of us are too lazy to make New Year’s resolutions or we believe that we are perfect. We also learned that you must be carefully discussing a New Year’s resolution when your spouse is in the room. As for the main event, after the Port’s Chicago Bulls-like intro video, we were educated on the wide range of the topics by Bill Wyatt, executive director.

Specifically, what did we learn:

  • Bill’s first concert was the Rolling Stones.

  • Vendors at PDX must offer “street pricing” meaning you will find the same price on an item at the Mother Goose whether in downtown Portland or the airport.

  • The Port operates three airports – PDX, Hillsboro, and Troutdale.

  • The proposed Westside Corridor is being reviewed by Port transportation staff. The Port has not taken a position yet.

  • The first airport in Portland was located at Swan Island.

  • Bill can detect the type of plane passing by the conference room solely by sound. F-15’s are the only ones capable of interrupting a meeting.

  • PDX is responsible for 17,000 jobs.

  • 96% of the Port’s revenue is not tax dependent.

  • Bill’s unofficial economic indicator – activity in short term parking which by the way is experiencing an uptake.

  • Tom Tsuruta, the newest Port commissioner, became a Japanese-American specifically to serve on the Board.

  • Bill’s first job after completing his education – state representative for the Astoria area.

  • Environmental stewardship is a big emphasis. An example is the potential harm caused by birds near an airport. The Port uses practices to relocate birds without having to harm them. Starlings are the only birds that may face a different approach.

Does that leave you wanting more? Check out the PowerPoint presentation Port of Portland – ELGL Presentation and a few pictures: ELGL Forum at the Port of Portland.

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