Port of Coupeville hires financial advisor

The Port of Coupeville’s board of commissioners is looking to hire a new financial advisor to assist in the pursuit of a line of credit or bond.

“(Port Executive Dir-ector) Chris (Michal-opoulos) isn’t really qualified to do this,” Port Commissioner David Day said during Wednesday’s teleconferenced meeting. “I’m not qualified to do this, I don’t think anybody on our board is qualified to do it,”

The port commissioners plan to hire the fiduciary expertise of James Blumenthal, vice president and senior municipal underwriter of financial advisor firm Martin, Nelson and Co.

The line of credit, or bond, that the port is looking to pursue could possibly be in the neighborhood of $1 million and would be used as matching for projects for which the port has received grants.

“If you hire us as a financial advisor … our fiduciary role is to work on behalf of the port.” Blumenthal said. “So, in other words, we’re acting only in your interests. If you want the lowest price, the lowest cost, then that’s our job.”

Blumenthal added that he would have to stop working as the port’s current underwriter. He estimates the cost of his advisor service at $1,500.

He is advising the port to pursue a line of credit.

“I actually feel very comfortable working with James,” Port Director Chris Michalopoulos said. “He’s very patient.”

The motion to hire the new financial advisor passed unanimously.