Port Authority chief Schreckengost to retire in October [Erie Times-News, Pa. :: ]
(Erie Times-News (PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 13--The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority's top job will soon change hands for the first time in two decades.
Ray Schreckengost, executive director of the authority since 1994, is retiring in October, and the authority's board of directors has already begun its process for choosing Schreckengost's successor.
"It's just time to do some other things," said Schreckengost, 70, who said he will work as an as-needed consultant for the authority for at least a year after retiring.
"It's been fantastic, but I think it's time to spend a little time traveling. ... My health is good, and I'm trying to get as much in as I can."
Authority officials hope to have a new executive director in place by Oct. 31, when Schreckengost's $109,000-a-year employment contract expires.
A legal advertisement seeking candidates for the job is scheduled to appear in Monday's Erie Times-News.
Schreckengost spent six years as a member of the Port Authority's board of directors, including a stint as board chairman, before becoming executive director in 1994, replacing Larry Morosky, who retired.
During his tenure, the Port Authority played a key role in an unprecedented wave of development along Erie's bayfront.
The Port Authority's projects included the Intermodal Transportation Center and the adjacent Cruise Boat Terminal; the Bicentennial Tower; Liberty Park and the Lampe Marina campground. The authority also assisted with development of the Blasco Library and the Bayfront Convention Center.
"We have been the main catalyst for bayfront development, for getting things done down here. That's what I'm going to remember," Schreckengost said.
"We've had great successes. ... I think a lot of that is because we are an authority, and we can move a lot faster, sometimes, than a municipality can."
The authority's advertisement for an executive director states that the agency is looking for someone with "strong leadership capabilities" who has experience writing grants and working with state and government programs, among other qualities.
Board member Owen McCormick said the authority will accept applications until Aug. 1, identify three or four top applicants and bring those people in for face-to-face interviews.
Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott said Schreckengost was an effective leader, and he expects Schreckengost's successor to be one as well.
"It's going to have to be somebody who understands economic development, Harrisburg and government funding, things like that," Sinnott said.
"Someone who knows their way around that system."
KEVIN FLOWERS can be reached at 870-1693 or by e-mail. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNflowers.
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