McGuire to step down

GULFPORT - An era will end at the State Port Authority at Gulfport today.

Gulfport businessman Dalton McGuire, originally appointed by Gov. Cliff Finch in 1979, asked not to be reappointed to the board of commissioners. He will be replaced by Frank Wilem, one of the founders of Triton Systems, the Long Beach company best known for their ATMs.

"In 27 years, we have changed tremendously with the cranes and container cargo, big expansions, taking in the water areas to build land," McGuire said.

"Lots of business, and it's been a great experience for me. I've appreciated the opportunity to represent the state and my city."

McGuire, 73, was serving as Gulfport's appointment to the five-person board. The Harrison County Board of Supervisors makes one and the governor has three.

He said he didn't think he'd missed a meeting in 27 years, and it would be difficult not being there.

McGuire wrapped up his sixth stint as board president, and will be succeeded in that role by Lenny Sawyer, another big fish in Gulfport's real estate market.

McGuire also served 10 years on the state banking board and was on the welfare board before moving to the port commission, but will now retire from public service.

"I'm just going to work harder in the real estate business," he said.