Port of Longview Commissioner Lou Johnson announced Tuesday that he will resign from his post on the three-member commission effective June 30.
Because Commissioner Darold Dietz is stepping down in the fall, Johnson’s departure could leave the longshoremen’s union without a strong ally on the commission. Both Dietz and Johnson are former dockworkers. Officials for Local 21 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union declined to comment.
In stepping down, Johnson cited the need for more time with his family and personal commitments, but he declined to elaborate.
The commission will have to appoint a someone to serve out Johnson’s District 2 seat until the election in fall 2017. The district covers areas of Kelso, Rose Valley and Silver Lake.
Johnson, a retired marine clerk and U.S. Army veteran, was elected to the commission in 2011 and took office in 2012. At the time, Johnson said he wanted to rebuild the strained relationship between the union and the port after the Export Grain Terminal controversy.
“It has been a privilege to serve my community, and I wish to thank my fellow commissioners and the staff for the opportunity,” Johnson stated in a prepared statement.
“Lou has made important contributions to the Port during his tenure,” Port of Longview Chief Executive Officer Geir-Eilif Kalhagen said in a press release. “We are grateful for his service and the dedication he brought to the Commission.”
Port officials will review the process for filling Johnson’s seat at its June 9 meeting.