(CMR) Rumors are afoot that the Port Authority Board went back to its list of unsuccessful port director candidates that they had previously discarded to select former port director Paul W. Hurlston for the position. Hurlston ran the port for some 14 years but was forced out in 2015 following a Deloitte internal cost and organizational review and concerns about the port's financial position.
Ironically just over eight months ago the board led by chairman, Cline Glidden, was unable to shortlist any of the six candidates and was set to re-start the open recruitment process. That plan was scratched under ongoing criticism of the board's handling of the recruitment process.
Now, they have shortlisted four persons and made an offer to Hurlston CMR sources revealed. CMR understands he has accepted the position and could begin the post as early as June 1.
Hurlston's departure over six years ago caused a stir because they did not renew his six-year contract and placed him on gardening leave in February 2015; months before his contract was due to expire. In a statement at the time, then Board Chairman, Errol Bush, told the media that Deloitte's review of the current organizational structure was meant to put the port back into a better financial position.
The PPM lead government and port director said the port was losing millions of dollars per year and could not continue on that trend. Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick noted in his evaluation of the agency’s financial statements between 2011 and 2013 that the losses prompted significant concern about the port’s ability to continue operating.
The port authority reported significant financial losses in two consecutive fiscal years and in the 2012/2013 fiscal year, the public agency lost more than $2.6 million.
He was then replaced by Clement Reid, former deputy director of operations at the port. Reid took a pay cut in the leadership role which was originally between $180,000 and $204,000 but then reduced to $123,000 and $173,000.
Many are now hopeful that he can make some organizational changes to improve the way forward for the port.
Paul Hurlston made an unsuccessful bid for political office as an independent candidate in George Town South in 2017.
The CI Port Authority or ministry responsible for the port has not issued any statements about this rumored latest appointment.