Port Finally Makes The Right Call

This much we know about the search for a director for the Port of Tampa:

* It better yield a seasoned veteran who can juggle multiple egos and myriad priorities. The latter include accommodating bulk shipping as well as the cruise business, realizing the container potential, and playing real estate developer and landlord. It puts a premium on communication skills and international, i.e. Latin American, savvy. Fluency in Spanish would help.

*T he first go-around, when a national search was summarily and secretly jettisoned, was a blindsiding mistake . A sharply divided (3-2) Tampa Port Authority board awarded the job to interim director Zelko Kirincich — for a year.

* Kirincich , who seems well thought of, read the resulting uproar correctly and within a day had declined the promotion. He will compete in the re-instituted national search.

* As one of the country’s biggest ports (in tonnage) and a $13-billion, economic colossus for the Tampa Bay area, the Port of Tampa must act the part . This isn’t Biloxi. This really is the big time.

* When Mayor Pam Iorio and Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms — the two dissenters in that ill-fated vote to initially promote Kirincich — agree on anything, it’s worth noting. And in this case, worth heeding.

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