People Matter (Episode 103)

Posted on 12. Nov, 2010 by in The Show

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The Audrey Johnson show hosted a political rally featuring the two frontrunner candidates for Port Hueneme Harbor Commissioner 2010.

Mary Anne Rooney is featured in part 1; Timur Taluy is featured in part 2; Mary Anne Rooney and Timur Taluy interact in part 3.

[Audrey Johnson:] We have Port Hueneme here, and we have Oxnard, and we have Ventura. So we definitely have a broad range of people.

[Timur Taluy:] The Port of Hueneme has so many resources. It owns the railroad system, that is the Ventura County railroad, that ties into the Union Pacific railroad. It has the World Trade Center, and foreign trade status. What that means is, years ago there was a company Imation–They make computer disks–and they would bring things in from overseas; They would fabricate them here, ship them back overseas. So nothing actually stayed in the United States. But normally you’d think you have to pay import tax, export tax; It’d be cost prohibitive, so no one wants to do it. So what the United States government did years ago, they created this concept of foreign trade zones, where things would come in, get value added to them, and move back out. You don’t pay customs duties either way. It’s just a way to create free jobs in our community. Imation left a couple years ago. That’s like 400 jobs gone.

So, how can we use that foreign trade status? Well, the port is transforming into a floating foreign trade status. So, Sam’s Domino’s Pizza could be a foreign trade zone; We could bring in pizza ingredients, make pizzas, ship them out, not pay tax on it. It’d be beautiful.

[Sam Hishmeh:] That’s the smartest thing you’ve said yet. [Laughter.]

But really, the port has these tools. I was talking to one of my friends in business. I said, Hey, Why aren’t you taking advantage of this foreign trade zone? She says, What do you mean? I’m like, You bring in metal; You make these little connectors that go into satellite dishes, and then you ship it out to China, and it gets put into satellite dishes. And he’s like, Wow! That’s cool!

Why isn’t the Port out there talking about it?

We have this rail line. We have a problem: The port’s land locked. We want to bring in more cargo; We want to do more business, but how do you do it without any space? I know!–I’m an engineer.–Let’s make it more efficient. Let’s load things into boxcars, into trucks, or whatever we’re going to do, get it out of that port faster. We have warehouses in Santa Paula, we have warehouses in downtown Oxnard, with no one working in them. And guess what? We have a labor force–You talk about an eleven percent unemployment rate in Ventura County–I’m on the United Way board. Let me tell you, it’s like twenty-five percent in Santa Paula. Santa Paula is hurting for jobs. If you said, We’ll bring a rail car every day, full of port stuff, and we need you to pack it and ship it.–And oh, by the way, out in Santa Paula, you can load that truck, and you can get out on the Five freeway in twenty minutes. Hey, company that wants to do business in California: Use the Port of Hueneme. We’re smaller than Long Beach. We’re not going to have your ship waiting out there for a week just because we’re backed up. We’re going to know you; We’re going to know your cargo. Security’s important. We have to know our customers. We have to know what we’re doing. Bring that in there, say, Hey customer, we can get you on to the Five; You can be in Seattle overnight. You can be into Las Vega. You can be anywhere you want to go. That’s the Port of Hueneme.

We need to get energetic people, like Mary Anne said, younger people, energetic people, people with ideas, people with vision. I’m on the board of United Way, the board of the CVC Credit Union here. We need people that can work with other people. We need people that can work with other people, that can bring the community in, use the community resources, the jobs, the warehouses that we have, use the Port’s resources, the international experience, all that kind of stuff, put it together. Boom! Elect Timur.

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