LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Time for a change at Port

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This year Port of Walla Walla Executive Director Jim Kuntz will receive an extra "happy December" salary check for $25,000 for no apparent, justifiable reason.

Added to his reported salary of $134,726, this makes his cash compensation package just under $160,000. My research (calling many Port Districts and asking them for the dollar amount of their director's salary and the actual amount of any "add-on's" like vehicle use) shows Kuntz's total compensation package to be the fourth highest in the state, behind only the port directors of Vancouver, Tacoma and Seattle.

Executive Director Kuntz makes more than the State Attorney General and more than the executive directors of port districts twice our size. His salary is much closer to that of the governor than to the average director of a port district of our modest size.

The $5,000 raise Executive Director Jim Kuntz was given for this year is especially questionable given that Mike Frederickson and another commissioner admitted to being hosted by the executive director at his condo in Phoenix just prior to granting the raise. The amount of the raise is also questionable considering the tough economic times we are in.

I would guess that if average citizens who works hard all year knew about the "happy December" checks the Port gives out yearly, they would be very angry. They should be. It's time for a change.

Norm Osterman
Walla Walla

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