New Port Chief to Begin Duties Monday

The Ventura Port District’s new general manager will begin work today..

The district’s board of commissioners unanimously approved a contract with Ed Wohlenberg, a former Bay Area city manager, Friday after a lengthy closed meeting.

The 57-year-old administrator will earn an annual salary of $82,000, plus benefits. He is eligible for a bonus after his first year, officials said.

“We are delighted to have him,” Commissioner Monty Clark said. “I think he is delighted to be here.”


Wohlenberg, who is still serving as interim city manager in Half Moon Bay, attended Friday’s meeting and said he was excited to start the job.

“I think it is a great opportunity,” he said. “It is a very beautiful place.”

Wohlenberg plans to move to Ventura in the next few weeks while he eases out of the position in the Bay Area.

“He will work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday . . . and then be in part time until the last week of the month,” Clark said. “Then he’ll start full time. It is a transition time for him.”


A former city manager in Vallejo and Brea, Wohlenberg said he brings a strong background in finance and management to the general manager position--skills that he says will be valuable in handling the district’s business leases and bankruptcy.

The Ventura Port District has been struggling to regain financial footing since filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection three years ago.

“I think what’s needed is someone with comprehensive strength in broad skills,” he said.

“It will take time, you cannot get this thing solved overnight.”

Commissioners picked Wohlenberg after a seven-month search following the resignation of Richard Parsons last fall.

Parsons quit citing philosophical differences with the board of commissioners, but later reapplied for the job. He subsequently was awarded a one-year, $75,000 contract as the district’s dredging consultant.