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Why is Jaxport struggling to fill CEO spot?

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Updated: 6/03/2013 11:29 am
JACKSONVILLE, FLa. -- JAXPORT is once again trying to find a new CEO after its front runner dropped out of the race.

"It doesn't add to the positive feelings about the port," said Representative Mike Weinstein.

Representative Weinstein knows how important the CEO of JAXPORT is. He was up for the job several years ago. He says it was disappointing news learning the board's top pick to replace Paul Anderson -- the CEO who left after only 18 months -- also decided he didn't want to call Jacksonville home.

"It's too bad because he was quite capable."

Port officials confirm Juan Kuryla withdrew his name after contract negotiations started. Now the community wants to know what it is about JAXPORT that is causing this to happen over and over again. Weinstein tells Action News our port operates differently from many others.

"We're a land operating port we don't really operate the port facility we lease properties to tenants and then tenants operate the facilities. A lot of the ports around the county operate them as well," he said.  "If you're a port authority director here it doesn't give you nearly the same operating experience."

He says add that to a list of past problems and that may be why the port is struggling to full the spot.

"We've got some companies...that wanted to come and now aren't coming. We had Gulftainer come and really present a proposal that was pretty interesting to look at and they were turned away."

Action News is told a search firm has been asked to go back to the drawing board with no set deadline to hire someone.

"Better to have somebody sooner than later but not to make a mistake," Weinstein said.

Action News asked port officials if they are disappointed with Kuryla backing out. We are told anyone who's hiring or anyone in the running for a job knows these things happen and their search will go on.
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