Riverport board to discuss CEO search [Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.]
(Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 29--The Owensboro Riverport Authority board of directors is scheduled to discuss plans to find a new president and CEO at its 12:15 p.m. meeting Thursday at the terminal office on River Road.
That scheduled meeting comes just three days after Stuart Gant resigned as president/CEO following allegations concerning an incident involving Gant and a woman Aug. 21 that resulted in a police investigation. On Monday, the riverport board held a more than five-hour closed session to discuss the allegations against Gant, who tendered his resignation as the closed session wound down.
When Monday's meeting reconvened in open session, the board named Ed Riney the port's interim president and CEO. Riney served as president and CEO prior to Gant taking over the position in July. Riney remained with the riverport this summer in a part-time executive role and was present for Monday's meeting, which also saw the board agree to postpone all other agenda items from that meeting to today's meeting.
Riney said the board may pursue the option of contacting some of the top candidates from the previous president/CEO search.
"There were fine candidates behind Gant," Riney said. "I anticipate the board will bring in one or more of them. If they are not available, they may have to start (the search process) over."
Riney said there is good reason to believe that the option of finding a new president and CEO from among the prior finalists is possible.
Another important item on the agenda is consideration of construction bids for a new cargo dock and/or improvements to the existing cargo dock at the port. Riney said Smith Contracting of Lawrenceburg was the low bidder on the existing dock improvements at $2.9 million and was also the low bidder on building a new dock at $6.5 million. The next lowest on the old dock was $3.3 million by Hall Contracting of Louisville. The next lowest bid on the new dock was $6.9 million by C.J. Mahan Construction of Grove City, Ohio.
Riney said he could not comment on what the board might decide to do with the bids.
The meeting agenda also includes a closed session to discuss property and personnel. As recently as Aug. 1, riverport officials were meeting with a team of private investors who were interested in purchasing the old Green River Steel property on U.S. 60 East. At that time, Gant said he was "cautiously optimistic but bordering on excitement" about the possible sale, but could not identify the investment group.
But after Gant resigned Monday, riverport board chairman Rod Kuegel said the port no longer had any prospective buyers for the property. Asked Wednesday if there was a prospect to buy the land before Aug. 21, Riney said he could not answer.
Riney said he didn't think property would actually come up as a discussion at today's meeting, and that the item is routinely added to agenda in case a property issue needs to be discussed.
Steve Vied, 691-7297, firstname.lastname@example.org
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