Some new blood and some familiar blood were Gov. Rick Scott’s choices for appointment to new terms on the Port St. Joe Port Authority.
Last week Scott reappointed Carl “Eugene” Raffield to the Port Authority while appointing Jason Shoaf to replace Patrick Jones.
The terms of Jones and Raffield expired more than two months ago and there was considerable interest in the appointments, with nearly a dozen applications.
Raffield, 51, returns for another four-year term which will end July 20, 2017.
A vice president of Raffield Fisheries, Inc. Raffield brings a wealth of knowledge about maritime activity but also has deep, generational roots in the community.
“I am glad the governor had the faith in me to put me back on the board,” Raffield said. “I thank him for that.
“I am very passionate about the county and the town I grew up in. When I am dead and gone I want them to remember my name as someone who helped bring jobs to this county.”
Raffield has been outspoken in his quest for dredging of the shipping channel to open up development of the Port of Port St. Joe.
Having been among board members that unanimously approved contracts to move the dredge permit application forward two weeks ago, Raffield reaffirmed that a dredged channel is critical.
As a natural, deepwater channel, Raffield noted that more than half of the channel is in good condition despite not maintenance dredging since the last 1980’s.
“I do feel if we can get that channel dredged that will solve a lot of things and talk about this and that,” Raffield said. “That is the heart line of the port. It is the deepest and most natural channel in Florida. The cost to maintain that channel will be very low compared to places like Miami.”
Shoaf, 34, is vice president of St. Joe Natural Gas Company, Inc. and was appointed for a term ending July 27, 2017. He also brings deep community roots to his position on the Port Authority.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to help bring jobs and development to Gulf County,” Shoaf said. “That is what gets me excited, to be able to work on behalf of the community to bring industry and jobs to the area.”