Six people were nominated to fill two of San Diego’s seats on the Port Commission, the board that governs the Port of San Diego and one of the most prestigious volunteer posts in local politics. The two who are selected will replace Scott Peters, who was elected to Congress, and Lee Burdick, who accepted a position with the administration of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
The candidates were Lisa Bicker, co-founder of CleanTECH San Diego; commercial real estate and business lawyer Rafael Castellanos; Reese Jarrett, former executive vice president and director of the Southeastern Economic Development Corp.; businessman Marshall Merrifield; Sid Voorakkara, who created the San Diego Workforce Funders Collaborative; and former NASSCO President Richard Vortmann.
Reaching the ultimate decision between all these candidates was not an easy task and when the audience had the chance to support whoever, it had lasted another 3 hours. In all, it took four rounds of voting to fill the positions. City Council President Todd Gloria, a Democrat, joined with his Republican colleagues to appoint Merrifield. Then the Republicans — Kevin Faulconer, Mark Kersey, Scott Sherman and Lorie Zapf — returned the favor by voting with Gloria for Castellanos. The compromise was needed because the council is split 4-4 between Democrats and Republicans following Democrat Tony Young’s Jan. 1 resignation.
Conclusively, the posts went to attorney Rafael Castellanos and businessman Marshall Merrifield as the City Council filled San Diego’s vacancies on the Port Commission Monday afternoon.