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Commissioner Bustle Recommends Candidate for Port with Questionable Resume

Port Authority Chair Larry Bustle

MANATEE COUNTY -- In his capacity as chairman of the Manatee Port Authority, Commissioner Larry Bustle sent a letter to fellow members of the board lobbying for Paul Demariano to become "Interim Port Transition Administrator" for Port Manatee. A quick web search brought up several articles from '01-'02 reporting on Demariano's resignation as the Director of Port Everglades.

The Florida Times Union reported that Demariano resigned amid criticisms for leasing a prime terminal space without even bidding it. The Miami Herald reported that his leadership style was said to have drawn criticism for the way it excluded county government personnel.

While Bustle's eight-page document took the time to extensively describe the considerable experience of Demariano, often in quite impressive detail, it failed to mention this particular portion of his career or the obvious questions such matters would raise.

Because current Port Director David McDonald is scheduled to retire in 2012 and the port is undergoing considerable expansion, leadership of operations will be critical and there is opportunity to influence and define the future direction of port operations. An "interim director" of any sort would also have an obvious inside track toward being named McDonald's successor. 

Related Story: Commissioner McClash Blasts County Administator and Port Authority Chair


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