VIDEO: Glenn Willis, Candidate For Port Canaveral District 2, Talks About His Qualifications

By  //  July 16, 2016

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Port Commissioners serve four-year terms

ABOVE VIDEO: Glenn Willis, candidate for the Canaveral Port Authority District 2 seat, talks about his qualifications and platform from the top of the Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral.

BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Glenn Willis is a candidate for the Canaveral Port Authority District 2 seat, currently held by Hank Evans who has chosen not to run for re-election.

In 1939, a Special Act of the Florida legislature created the Canaveral Port Authority as an independent governmental agency to manage Canaveral Harbor, which was dedicated on November 4, 1953.

The Legislature established the Canaveral Port District in the central and north areas of Brevard County and divided it into five regions.

Five elected officials representing the five regions form the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners, which sets fiscal, regulatory and operational policies for the Port. Commissioners are elected at-large and serve four-year terms.

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Glenn Willis, left, candidate for the Canaveral Port Authority District 2 seat, with Brevard County Tax Collector Lisa Cullen. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

Voting takes place every two years, with no more than three commission seats up for election at a time. Commissioners receive a small salary.

The Board of Commissioners holds regularly scheduled meetings on the third Wednesday of each month unless otherwise posted. Meetings are held in the Port Authority Commission Room at Port Canaveral and are open to the public.

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As a governmental body, the Canaveral Port Authority can incur indebtedness through the sale of bonds, establish Federal Maritime Commission-regulated tariff rates and negotiate for government grants. The Canaveral Port Authority also can levy ad valorem taxes from property owners in the Canaveral Port District.

In 1986, the Board of Commissioners recognized that the Port had become self-sufficient and unanimously voted to stop collecting the annual revenue from ad valorem taxes. The Port has remained self-sufficient since that time, relying primarily on revenues from the successful businesses it has worked to develop: cruises, cargo, land leases and park operations.

Aerial view of the harbor inlet on Dedication Day, November 4, 1953. (Port Canaveral image)

Aerial view of the Port Canaveral harbor inlet on Dedication Day, November 4, 1953. (Port Canaveral image)

Port Canaveral was dedicated in 1953 and its first industry was commercial fishing. Cargo vessels arrived within a few years, laden with oil and newsprint, and tanker vessels began carrying central Florida’s orange juice to New York in 1958.

By 1966, the cargo tonnage moving through the Port had reached one million tons per year. Today, nearly 4 million tons of cargo moves through each year, and the Port is home to a major petroleum terminal and tank farm.

Port Canaveral also has played an important role in America’s space program, supporting nearby Cape Canaveral launches from the start. In 1961, the capsule of Alan Shepard, first American in space, was retrieved on its return by vessels homeported at Port Canaveral.

In 1965, the Canaveral Lock opened, connecting the Port to the Banana River and designed specifically for passage of huge Saturn rockets.

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During the shuttle program, solid rocket boosters retrieved at sea were returned to the Space Center via Port Canaveral. As the space program evolves, Brevard County and Port Canaveral will continue their critical support.

The port’s cruise history began in the 1970s when port-of-call ships discovered the attractions of central Florida, and it’s first homeported cruise ship set sail in 1982.

The first dedicated cruise terminal opened that year and the port started the climb to its position today. Carnival homeported its first ship at Port Canaveral in 1990, Disney joined in 1998 and Royal Caribbean arrived in 2000.

Now Port Canaveral is one of the world’s busiest cruise ports with 4 million revenue cruise passengers per year and the most port-of-call ship visits of any Florida home port.

CLICK HERE for a map of Brevard County Canaveral Port Authority Districts.

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