MARIETTA - Though the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority still doesn't have a full-time executive director, an interim director has been found in Jim Black.
The port authority has been without an executive director since Terry Tamburini announced his retirement in late 2013. A search committee was then formed to hire a new director and in January, the candidates had been narrowed down to two. The candidate chosen for the job received a better offer elsewhere, leaving the port authority still searching for a leader.
Black, 71, of Beverly, has served on the port authority board for many years, and also is an officer on the Muskingum Valley Area Chamber of Commerce board. He also worked for 29 years at Globe Metallurgical before retiring.
Though he is filling in part-time at the port authority, working about 20 hours a week, Black said he isn't interested in a full-time position.
"I'm retired," he said. "I'm almost 71 years old; it's time for me to sit back and enjoy some of the roses."
Executive Assistant Janet Nelson said Black will be on board in the director's seat until a new one can be found.
"We're still searching," she said. "We've had a few interested (in the position). The application process is still open... We're going to keep it open until we locate the person we need, that way we can take as much time as we need."
Black's main purpose is to be a consultant through his consulting agency, James M. Black LLC.
"It's more or less on an as-needed basis," he said, adding that going through his agency has kept the cost low to the port authority.
Black is making about $25 an hour consulting.
Nelson said Black has been helping her and Michele Tipton, both of whom have taken over many duties the director is supposed to perform.
Black said currently the port authority is looking at the oil and gas industry locally.
"We're looking at the implication of the oil and gas business in the community and trying to prepare so we don't get behind," he said. "Everything we try to do is for the benefit of the county."