Port appointments should prove beneficial

Columbiana County Commissioners’ appointment of former commissioner Penny Traina and former Columbiana city manager Keith Chamberlin to the county port authority board has received some criticism, but we support their choices.

Both candidates bring a wealth of experience to the port. We hope this infusion of new blood to the board will also bring new ideas which will result in more economic development in the county.

Unfortunately, because of PERS rules, Chamberlin’s appointment must be delayed until March 2. He will be replacing Tim Weigle, who resigned after being elected county commissioner in November.

Traina was appointed to replace East Liverpool businessman Steve Cooper. Cooper had served on the port board for 25 years and had served the board well. Even though he had asked to be reappointed, Cooper graciously praised the new board members and described Traina and Chamberlin as excellent choices who he expects will continue the Port Authority’s work as an engine for economic development in the county.

Last week, commissioners further strengthened the Port Authority by appointing Weigle as their liaison to the board.

“I can keep commissioners informed about new businesses coming into the county or (Port Authority) expenses that could come up that might involve commissioners,” Weigle said of his appointment, adding commissioners might be able to assist on some of the projects being pursued by the Port Authority.

We think anything that improves the line of communications between the two entities should also boost county economic development.