SUMMERSIDE – Summerside city council is looking to have Chief Administrative Officer Bob Ashley named to the Summerside Port Corporation board of directors.
When the board was first formed CAO Terry Murphy was named to the board. Murphy has since left the city employ and is still a member of the board of directors. Leaving Summerside without representation.
The corporation recently released a 25-year vision for the development of the Summerside waterfront and council wants to be involved in the decision-making.
“We’re looking at the possibility of getting somebody on that board,” said Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart. “We already notified the president and advised him we’d like to have our new CAO on the board. We didn’t hear back yet. I think it will be positive.”
Stewart said when the federal government returned ports over to municipalities, they said there would be no elected people on the port authorities.
“Our representative at the time was our former CAO. He said. From what I’m hearing there’s absolutely no problem in making that happen again. We have to have some connection.”
Summerside Port Corporation Arnold Croken said the board of directors will consider Ashley for a position on the board.
“There are no dedicated positions on our board for any specific positions any where,” he said. “What was built into the constitution for the long-term interest of the community is that there would be someone on the board that would represent the interests of the chamber of commerce and the City of Summerside and the Summerside Regional Development Corporation (SRDC).”
Croken said, the chamber is represented by former general manager John MacDonald.
“He came in under that umbrella,” he said. “I came in under SRDC, and Terry (Murphy) under the city but there is nobody appointed to this board. They can nominate names to the board if they are asked to do so.”
Croken said the city was requested to nominate Ashley to the board.
“In this case with Bob Ashley, with the efforts that we’ve undertaken on the waterfront development, we felt it was a good fit to have Bob at the table because there will be so much of the discussion over the next couple of years that will be dealing with this issue.”
Ashley’s acceptance as a director will increase the board to five members.
As for the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce, Croken said MacDonald still represents that body.
“No one has to be with an organization,” he said. “The constitution bylaws suggest that it be someone who represents the interests of that organization. The constitution of this organization does not allow for appointed positions. They allow for nominated positions and the board has the power to accept or reject that nomination.”
Croken said the board requested the city to nominate Ashley for the position.
“We had a conversation with the mayor on the issues that we have in front of us here and we thought that Bob, as the CAO of the city, because there’s so much interaction with the different departments of the city and because of the work we’re doing now, it would be good to have him at the table. I understand they (city) has approved the nomination and I’ll be bringing it to the next board meeting.”