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Port of Pittsburgh Commission names executive director

| Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, 1:56 p.m.

A congressman's aide who helped negotiate more money for lock and dam repairs in Western Pennsylvania will lead the Port of Pittsburgh Commission, the agency said on Monday.

Stephen Martinko takes over for James McCarville, who retired in June, and Acting Executive Director Mary Ann Bucci.

“I don't come in with any preconceived priorities; I want to work together to establish what those are with our stakeholders,” said Martinko, 34. “But obviously, funding is a top concern.”

Established by the Legislature in 1992, the commission is responsible for overseeing and promoting the development of the nation's second-busiest inland port. It has a 15-member volunteer board of political appointees and five staff members who advocate for issues related to commercial transportation on the region's rivers, including government funding to repair aging locks and dams.

Martinko worked for the past eight years in the Washington office of Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, where he was the House of Representatives' chief negotiator for the Water Resources and Reform Development Act, he said.

That $3.1 billion bill, signed into law by President Obama in June, benefited the Pittsburgh region primarily by changing the funding formula for construction projects so more money from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund would be available for local lock and dam improvements and repairs.

Bucci said Martinko will start his job on Sept. 8 at an annual salary of $160,000.

The port, which has 200 miles of waterways, is the nation's 17th-busiest overall, handling 35 million tons of cargo annually.

Matthew Santoni is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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