By Erik Olson, September 26, 2013, Daily News
Port of Longview Chief Executive Officer Geir Kalhagen is receiving a 6 percent pay raise in a new three-year contract to remain the port’s top executive through 2016.
According to the contract, which takes effect Oct. 1, Kalhagen will be paid $170,000 annually as the port’s top executive, up from the $160,000 annual salary he made since replacing long-time port director Ken O’Hollaren last September. He is also receiving a monthly auto-use stipend of $650.
The contract also includes four weeks’ severance pay in case of termination and health insurance benefits provided to all port employees. Kalhagen signed the contract Sept. 15.
Port Commission President Lou Johnson said commissioners conducted an employee evaluation before offering the raise. The contract is modeled after O’Hollaren’s and provides security for both the Kalhagen and the port, he said.
“We thought his first year was very good. He’s running it more like a business now,” Johnson said Wednesday.
Last year, the Port of Longview collected $33.8 million in operating revenue, surpassing the Port of Vancouver as second-largest port on the Columbia River for the first time. The port took in about $15.2 million in first half of 2013, about 2 percent above last year’s pace.
The port collects a property tax of 22 cents tax per $1,000 valuation, or about $33 annually on a $150,000 house.
Kalhagen said the agreement shows commissioners and port management are agreeing on the port’s direction.
“We felt that it was important to send a message that we are all on the same page. … The contract was a good way to (show) that we are committed to the long term future at the Port of Longview,” Kalhagen wrote in an email.