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It turns out that former executive vice president of the San Diego Unified Port District Dan Wilkens, who announced his retirement last fall, hasn’t strayed too far from the agency. Wilkens, who left at the same time as his boss, ex–port president and CEO Bruce Hollingsworth, announced in a September 8 port news release that “I work for Bruce. Since he is leaving, I want to assist him in that transition. But after that, I prefer to move on with the next chapter of my life. We made a pact a long time ago when we started in these positions and we’ve stuck to it.” Former Coast Guard Vice Admiral Charles D. Wurster took over from Hollingsworth in January, despite fire from an array of critics, including ex–port commissioner and banker Peter Davis, who questioned whether he had the business experience to oversee the port district’s vast portfolio of waterfront real estate, which generates about $88 million in revenue from lease payments each year. Wurster responded that he would delegate those management chores to experts, and though it wasn’t reported, one of the experts was the newly retired Wilkens. Under terms of a contract between his “Dan Wilkens Company” and the port filed on January 6, Wilkens is being paid a “not-to-exceed total of $72,000 and up to $16,000 in travel and reimbursable expenses, for a maximum not-to-exceed total of $98,000” for service from January 5 to December 30. His duties include providing “strategic advice and counseling on government relations and community relations generally,” specifically, “State legislation with regards to the initiative process and State Lands issues” and “Federal and state funding for infrastructure projects.” Meanwhile, Wilkens’s former position as executive vice president has been assumed by Ellen Corey Born, assistant port attorney since 2000.

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