Mark Johnson hired as CL Port lobbyist

Mark Johnson, right, speaks with Port Commission Chair Jess Groves in July at the dedication of the expanded Herman Creek Business Park. Johnson is now the Port’s Government Affairs Manager.

The Port of Cascade Locks Commission has hired Mark Johnson as the Port Government Affairs Manager.

Johnson will carry out the Port’s active lobbying program during the 2019 Oregon legislative session, according to a press release from the Port. Johnson formerly served as a state representative and member of Hood River County School District Board.

As Government Affairs Manager, Johnson will lead Port efforts to influence legislation to benefit the Port and the community of Cascade Locks. “He will also provide valuable input on the creation of a communications strategy to assist the Port in accomplishing its goals and objectives,” stated Port manager Paul Koch.

“The Port Commission is pleased to have acquired the services of Mark Johnson’s and to be able to take full advantage of his background and experience in Salem,” said Koch.

“Mark brings to the Port seven years of service as an elected legislator. During his legislative service he developed a strong reputation as an effective policy maker and sponsored key pieces of economic development and public education legislation,” noted Koch. “Most recently, he was instrumental in helping the Port of Hood River secure the public contract language and preliminary funding they needed to be able to move forward with their bridge replacement project.”

The Port of Cascade Locks plans and open house on Oct. 29, 7-8 p.m., to showcase its museum complex plans and hear from the community, at Port Pavilon in Marine Park.

Call Koch at 541-374-2401 for details and to be added to group list for updates.

“I want to thank the port president and commission for inviting me to be a part of the team,” said Johnson. “I look forward to an exciting future for the Cascade Locks community.” Part of Johnson’s job will be to use his experience to help further the port’s 2019 legislative priorities, which include the Business Park Flex 5 building, and enhancements to the Cascade Locks airport facility (owned by the state).

Koch said that the port is asking the State to make a feasibility study identifying enhancements such as lengthening and widening the runway, install hangars, runway lighting, restrooms, new fencing, signage and a landing monitoring system to track levels of use.

Other port priorities include expansion and preservation of Marine Park and museum and pavilion buildings, and bicycle-pedestrian access.

This includes funding for the engineering and architecture for the proposed new Pony Building. Current plans are to implement a comprehensive private fund raising effort to pay for both museum enhancements and the new Pony Building.

Johnson also be asked to advocate for bike-pedestrian connection to the State Historic highway and federal lands from Troutdale to Hood River, specifically the proposed pedestrian access to Marine Park over the railroad tracks, in cooperation with Union Pacific railroad.

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