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American Shipper

Los Angeles port director gets raise

Los Angeles port director gets raise

The Board of Commissioners for the Port of Los Angeles, the nation's busiest container port, has given its top executive a raise.

   Geraldine Knatz, the port's executive director, received a 9.3 percent pay hike from $244,795 a year to $267,500. This puts her in the upper echelon of U.s. port directors.

   Knatz was named as the top Port of Los Angeles executive in December 2005 after a 24-year career at neighbor and competitor, the Port of Long Beach.

   By comparison, Richard Steinke, Long Beach's executive director, makes just under $220,000, according to Port of Long Beach spokesman Art Wong. Oakland, California's third-largest and the nation's sixth-busiest container port, lists the port's executive director's compensation for 2007 as $245,000.

   At the top of the nation's port executive salary list is Mic Dinsmore, the recently retired director of the port of Seattle. As head of the nation's seventh-busiest container port, Dinsmore finished with a salary of $339,841 a year, after a 6 percent bump in pay from the Seattle port board when he announced his February retirement date last year.

   His status as the highest paid port director in the nation drew enough criticism that the Washington state legislature proposed a bill making it difficult to raise any port district employee above that of the governor's current salary of just over $150,000. The bill is still in committee.

   Dinsmore's successor took office March 1 with a starting salary of $325,000.

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