Ernie Boston has stepped down as a Port of Pasco commissioner after serving for 17 years.
Boston told the port he is retiring so he can concentrate on recovering from surgery.
Port of Pasco Commission President Jim Klindworth said Boston will be greatly missed.
Klindworth, who has served on the commission since 1987, said he would rank Boston as one of the top commissioners the port has ever had.
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When Boston came onto the commission in 1995, Klindworth said he sold the other commissioners on the benefit of having some port staff educated in real estate issues.
Since then, some port employees undergo certification programs with the Building Owners & Managers Association of Tri-Cities. And that training has been important in the work of the port, Klindworth said.
Boston and his wife, Betty, used to own Boston Real Estate Associates. The couple was active in the Tri-City Association of Realtors and advocated in the community for real estate issues, said Nate Biehl, president of the Tri-City Association of Realtors and broker/owner of RE/MAX First Advantage.
The Herald was unable to reach Boston on Monday about his retirement.
Port Executive Director Jim Toomey said Boston brought a technical knowledge of real estate and his perspective was a welcome one.
Boston also was instrumental in the transformation of the Tri-City Nuclear Industrial Development Council into the Tri-City Industrial Development Council (TRIDEC) in 1985, said Jane Foreman, office administrator for the now Tri-City Development Council.
Foreman said Boston really thinks through issues and has always given good input. He is dependable.
He also has served on many other community organizations and was named Tri-Citian of the Year in 1986.
Toomey said the Tri-Cities has been well served by Boston.
"He is a gentleman's gentleman," Toomey said. "He is always respectful of staff, always respectful of those that came in to visit with the port district, respectful of his peers in his industry."
Boston's last commission meeting was Feb. 9. He has been excused from commission meetings since then.
Boston represents port District 2, which includes Pasco west of the blue bridge and southwest Franklin County.
Boston had about a year and a half left on his six-year term as port commissioner.
The port commission will discuss Thursday the process for filling the empty seat. The person appointed would have to go before voters in the 2013 election if the person wants to continue on the board for the next term.