Port chief awarded 9 percent raise

Port of Grays Harbor commissioners on Thursday gave the Port’s executive director, Gary Nelson, a 9 percent increase in salary and a unanimous vote of confidence for the job he’s done over the past year when the Port continued to experience unprecedented growth.

Nelson will now be paid $166,704 per year. His previous salary was $152,940.

Commission President Chuck Caldwell cited the Port’s growth for the raise and gave praise to Nelson and his staff.

“We’ve got nowhere to go but up as long we keep good and adequate management,” Caldwell said. Compared to other ports in the state, Caldwell said, the Port of Grays Harbor has the smallest overall staff and some of the smallest tax revenues, “and this year we will have the third highest operating revenues.”

“There isn’t a staff in the State of Washington that works as hard and I don’t think there is any CEO who works any harder than what we have here,” he added.

Commissioner Stan Pinnick said Nelson had helped establish a number of relationships with customers and tenants that brought credibility and trust to the Port.

“It’s been fantastic for (Nelson) to be able to keep us financially in the black, and it’s really through Gary and his staff’s devotion and dedication to the Port that we have been able to achieve what we have,” added Commissioner Jack Thompson.