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Ed Hall takes helm at Port of Kingston

KINGSTON — Port of Kingston officials decided this week their next marina leader should be a jack-of-all-trades.

The Board of Commissioners for the port held a special meeting Sept. 2 to discuss the newly-created harbor master position after Port Manager Gary Johnston was unexpectedly fired at a July 23 meeting.

The board reasoned that Johnston had fulfilled the agency’s requirements during his 12-year tenure, including completing the port’s five-year master plan.

Commissioners then decided to sink the port manager position and float in a harbor master.

The latter has a more hands-on approach, rather than an administrative one, like the port manager, board members explained following the layoff.

At the Aug. 27 port meeting, commissioners made current port employee Ed Hall the acting harbor master until further notice. Hall has been working for the port for the past 13 years.

“He’s got a pretty good handle on things,” Commissioner Scott Gates said during the Sept. 2 meeting. “He has a valued opinion (within the port).”

Chief Commissioner Tom Coultas and Gates said Hall has played a big part in helping design and establish the the harbor master position and its duties as a staff member.

“I would like to stress the idea of being a team leader,” Coultas commented.

Gates and Coultas represented the quorum at the last session as Commissioner Marc Bissonnette was unable to attend.

While in search of a permanent harbor master, Gates and Coultas said the board would visit the local boating community and seek input to help the port narrow down applicant choices. Coultas suggested that residents look at various issues when regarding candidates, including their hands-on skills within the marina and how they deal with the public.

“That takes the bias off,” Gates commented about the public process.

The commissioners also decided the harbor master be paid hourly and not salaried.

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