HC Meeting Synopsis 2015-02-11

Here is a synopsis of the February 11, 2015 Harbor Commission (HC) meeting. The first issue was who had to recuse, why, and how it was to be done. This was presented by Chris Miller and clearly had been well thought out by the City Attorney's staff. Bottom line, four of seven members of the HC were found to have to recuse. They were all asked to come to Chris' table and state for the record their need to recuse, and why. Those four were Brad Avery, Paul Blank, Bill Kenney and Doug West. Avery is a NHYC member, and NHYC has moorings, and the other three are BYC members and BYC also has moorings. Blank has a mooring himself.

It was stated by Chris that the ad hoc committee could have any number of members, from one to even four. The dilemma for both the HC and the committee is that, for any final action, a minimum of four votes are needed. With four recused from a seven person Commission, only three would be left, which is not enough. The solution presented by Chris (vetted ahead by legal staff) is that all four recusing themselves would draw randomly for one identified card, and the one drawing the special card is legally allowed, possibly required, to be the fourth Commission member to serve as a voting member of the committee and the Commission. The other three will remain recused from both the committee and the Commission hearings and votes on this matter.

Commissioner West objected, saying he was in a unique position due to being a current officer of BYC and determined not to allow himself in a space where he or BYC could be criticized for his vote on this issue. Everyone held his breath, now what, no City Attorney present to solve this. Good for Chris who suggested, and to which Commissioner West agreed, that if he (West) drew the card he could decline to serve on the ad hoc committee. So the movement of those four over to Chris' area proceeded.

Brad Avery drew the card, meaning he would be the fourth Commissioner to vote on the final report, although he could optionally decline to serve on the committee. That left Commissioners Joe Stapleton, Duncan McIntosh and David Girling to serve on the ad hoc committee, with the latter likely to be Chair. It was agreed that the ad hoc committee should choose its own chair at first meeting. Also agreed was that Chris would arrange the time and location of the first meeting. [Which is February 23, 2015, 4pm at Oasis.]

There were some comments by Commissioners, then the recusing, then on to public comments with the meeting chaired by Chairman Avery who did a very nice job of leading in a manner that allowed everyone who so desired had ample time and opportunity to speak. Probably a third or more of the 60 plus people in the audience spoke up. Interestingly just one of the 60 was not a current mooring permittee. Both he and one or two others had their own anti-transferability view, the clear massive majority eloquently spoke for transferability as well as lower fees.

I suggest that the energy go into reaching out to all of the permittees to come to meetings and rationally present their cases for transferability and lower fees. Of course given the extensive time allowed for speaking at the recent HC meeting, it could be that at the Commission meeting Monday some procedure or request is taken to avoid going over the same ground.

Since the February 11 HC meeting there has been a decision to change the process to regular HC meetings with the four Commissioners, including the three non-recused members, and Brad Avery, who drew the non-recuse card, all attending., The reason for the change, as explained to me by Brad Avery, is that for him to be involved, which he wishes to do, it had to be in regular HC meetings, because a four member ad hoc committee is NOT allowed because more than three are not allowed to meet unless it is a regular, noticed meeting.

As of Tuesday NMA will send postal mail post cards to ALL mooring permittees to bring them up to date AND request email addresses from ALL, attendance at HC meetings on this subject, and an alternative contact by email for those few who do not have their own. As the now Council Member Duffy stated at the recent HC meeting, there is an opening now for the mooring permittees to have their circumstances favorably modified and it's up to us to step up fully and professionally to the task.

2 thoughts on “HC Meeting Synopsis 2015-02-11

  1. Lee OlsenLee Olsen


    The present waiting list policy does not work. I have been on a waiting list for 30 years with no action The last thing I want is a mooring on Lido when I live on Balboa Island. I should be able to buy a mooring for a price and have the city take half a year’s permit fee on the transfer.

    So I did buy an onshore mooring (with boat) for $20,000. The city should maybe take 50% of a year’s permit fee on that transfer. They would make more money on transfer of moorings with a decent transfer fee, as there is now, rather than the current waiting list system where I might get a mooring but it would be at a place that is not convenient for me.

  2. Carter FordCarter Ford Post author

    Absolutely right! The 50% of a year’s permit fee would make an acceptable transfer fee because it is not a moving target, it’s objective, it’s easy to understand, it’s easy to describe, and it returns value to the public without also being onerous or being in itself a barrier to entry to someone acquiring a mooring.

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