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Nueces County appoints new port commissioner

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Jan 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-04 18:36:28-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Former San Antonio City Council member Diane Gonzalez was appointed as the Port of Corpus Christi Authority's newest commissioner on Wednesday by the Nueces County Commissioners Court in a 3-2 vote.

Gonzalez, who also sits on the board of the Coastal Bend Food Bank, says she has extensive knowledge of large and complex budgets, as well as government affairs.

“The Port of Corpus Christi is a very important economic generator for Nueces County and the people of the region," Gonzalez said. "I seek to be a voice for the community and provide strong, financial oversight of the port as our important community asset.”

She replaces Catherine Hilliard whose term had expired. Hilliard had applied for reappointment but did not receive the votes needed.

Gonzalez is the only woman on the port commission.

“I think that representation matters, it’s extremely important in the community and we hope in the future to have more women on the port commission and more women in the position of leadership in the community. It’s very important, " Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez was sworn in Wednesday, saying she didn't want to delay getting to work.

Commissioners also unanimously passed a legislative agenda that could have an impact on how Port of Corpus Christi Commissioners are selected.

The county is requesting that local lawmakers file a law that would allow the public to vote in port commissioners, rather than allow municipalities, such as Nueces County, to appoint them.

The county is also seeking the support of Corpus Christi and San Patricio County, which also appoints port commissioners, in the passing of this law.

In an email from Pct. 4 Nueces County Commissioner Brent Chesney to Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo, he asks the mayor to place a similar item on the council's agenda for discussion and a vote.

"This proposal is very very important to me as I have thought hard about this for months. This is truly for the people we all represent," Chesney wrote. "Port Commissioners should truly be accountable to the people of the communities the Port serves."