Juneau has a new harbormaster. Phil
Benner of Haines topped a field of 20 candidates for the position. He's spent
the past two years overseeing harbors in Haines. Before that, the Navy veteran
spent three years as a harbor patrol officer here in Kodiak.
Kodiak Harbormaster Marty Owen said
Benner did a great job for the city of Kodiak, and he recommended him highly when
Haines, and then Juneau, city officials called for references. Owen said Benner
got his basic harbor training here in Kodiak, and says he's really proud of his
(KMXT's Jay Barrett
contributed to this report.)
-- Harbor1 16 seconds: The water's always ... part of my life. It's in my blood.
He says the job was a rare
opportunity to move up while remaining in the business. Haines has just two
harbor staffers, while Juneau
has 15 to 30, depending on the time of the year.
The capital city has five small boat
harbors holding as many as 1,700 vessels. The harbormaster is also responsible
for the city's cruise-ship docks.
Benner says he'll look for savings
in the entire operation.
-- Harbor2 15 seconds: We're going to take a look ... all the way up through personnel.
Benner starts work in early March. Juneau's previous
harbormaster was Lou McCall, who retired in October and died of cancer the
Juneau Port Director John Stone says
Benner is well qualified for the position.
-- Harbor3 12 seconds: We've heard ... leadership qualities and would do well with our
Juneau is in the process of
upgrading its aging waterfront infrastructure. Stone says the new harbormaster
will oversee that work.
-- Harbor4 11 seconds: We're going to be rebuilding ... so that will be a challenge.