Koch slides over to port interim post

— When the Port of Cascade Locks brings on a new general manager at some point in the coming year, that person’s job description could look a bit different than that of his or her predecessor’s.

Former Port Administrator Chuck Daughtry, who resigned Dec. 31 after 12 years on the job, amassed a significant amount of power during his tenure, handling everything from the day-to-day operations to economic development and marketing.

Late last year the port hired Gary Rains to take over the economic development responsibilities and then hired former AmeriCorps worker Holly Howell to handle marketing duties.

Additionally, the port commission launched a review of its general manager policies, which Port President Jess Groves said will likely be reflected in what the general manager is asked to do.

“There may be a different idea of what kind of manager we need,” he said.

The port is just getting the ball rolling on hiring Daughtry’s replacement. Groves was set to meet with port staff this week to begin figuring out a timeline for the search.

In the meantime, a familiar face around Cascade Locks will be serving in the GM role.

At the end of the month Interim City Administrator Paul Koch will slide over from the city to the port and assume interim general manager duties there.

Until Koch wraps up his duties with the city, he is serving as a consultant to the port and the port commission voted to allow Groves to perform the duties of general manager as necessary until Koch is on board.

For Koch the job will represent his first time working for a port, and also the first time he has moved directly from one job to another within the same community.

Koch said he expects the transition to be fairly painless.

“I really like these people,” he said of Cascade Locks. “This community is just a bunch of great people.”

Groves said the next port GM will have to help the port through several important processes, from reviews of the load capacity on the Bridge of the Gods connecting the town to the Washington side of the Columbia River to continuing efforts to bring a Nestlé water bottling factory to the town.

“We want to move as quickly as we can but we want to move with a purpose,” he said.

Koch said he will not be a candidate for the full-time job, but is willing to work with the port until it can find a permanent hire.

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