Los Angeles City Hall keeps Freeman as port commission president
The Port of Los Angeles' governing board has re-elected board member S. David Freeman as president and Jerilyn Lopez Mendoza as vice president. Despite the vote, the conclusion was a fait accompli.
Freeman has sat as president of the five-member board since Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa named him to the Harbor Commission two years ago. The president position allows Freeman to speak as the voice of the harbor board, which sets policy and determines how funds will be spent for the nation's busiest container port.
While the Los Angeles board votes on the board's officer positions each year, the officers sit at the pleasure of the city's mayor and he determines who will sit in the top positions. Typically, the president and vice president of the Los Angeles port board remain in the titular officer positions during the serving mayor's tenure. Traditionally, the entire harbor board is replaced when a new mayoral administration wins control of City Hall. Since taking office in early 2005, Villaraigosa has replaced all former members of the board with his own appointees.
The Harbor Commission for the neighboring Port of Long Beach, by contrast, rotates the board officer positions among its members on an annual basis.