Sun. May 19th, 2024

Commentary And Opinion by Samuel Strait – October 25, 2023

I suppose it has become a question of how many times will the community
bail out the local clowns at the Harbor?  Since the successful passage
of Measure “C” only a few short years ago, a measure by the way that was
supposed to solve the ailing Harbor district’s financial woes, it has
been an endless list of bad decisions by those that currently occupy
seats on the Harbor’s Commission as well as those hired by the
Commission to give sound advice.  From the poor judgement to invest in
solar power to that of Alex Lemus himself, the current Commission has
sent the Harbor careening towards bankruptcy.  As such, it is important
to point out that elections have consequences.  When members of the
Commission have a track record of incompetence, it is important that the
electorate use the power of the poll to rid themselves of such train
wrecks before the damage becomes irretrievable.

All of the current members must be held accountable for the lengthening
list of mismanagement, corruption, and fiscal irresponsibility.  The
opportunity to begin that process recently was when those on the
Commission were reelected  in the face of a failed solar project,
dredging issues, and the RV leasing fiasco was lost when the recent
election left the Commission largely intact.  This has left our local
population to suffer a solar project that costs the Harbor money to
maintain that exceeds its cost savings, a lawsuit for failure to dredge
and lack of building maintenance that has resulted in a multi-million
dollar settlement against the Harbor, and two near empty RV parks from
which the harbor receives little in income and the need for thousands of
dollars of maintenance cost in its stead.

The list goes on.  Questionable hires of the Harbor’s staff and Harbor
Master, coupled with financial improprieties, bad advice, and the
inabilities of the staff to offer any successful guidance toward
rectifying the growing list of catastrophes just in the past few years. 
Wind power, begging for “earmarks” from our Federal lawmaker, the
typical “finger pointing” at years of bad leadership, and naturally
complaining about regulations have become the current mechanisms for
avoiding responsibility for the impending financial disaster.   When all
the whining and excuses can’t fix the Harbor under the current
leadership, will the public become involved?  According to the current
members, the Harbor is “intertwined with the local economy and its
financial woes will affect the over all health of the community”.  Of
course that begs the question, “since the Harbor currently is a
financial mill stone around the neck of the community, “How does it
become a necessary benefit to that economy”?

Clearly a bit of honesty should be injected into the conversation, which
the current Board seems incapable of and continues to make the issues
worse.  The involvement with the Tri Agency in spite of overwhelming
opposition to its resurrection by the public, millions of dollars in
deferred maintenance that the Harbor has no money to fund, and revenue
streams that seem to vanish or be reduced by the day.  Past loans due to
poor planning, a fixation on “green energy development” that will go no
where, and a current begging for hand outs that are unlikely to be met
in any sufficient amounts.  What a future our “brain trust” at the
Harbor has dropped us all in.   Voters should keep that in mind, the
next time that they wish to vote for such prized specimens, Brian Stone,
Harry Adams, Rick Shepherd, Wes White, and Gerhard Weber.  Of course,
one is never certain that a newly constituted Commission can retrieve
the disaster that is clearly here.

One thought on “Blub, Blub, Blub”
  1. Hey, they must be doing ok. One recently got a $9,000 bonus. The credit card must not have a limit, e.g., Iceland trip, dining, lodging. They had enough money to consider buying the Thriftshop building (maybe they did, who knows what they’re doing). They have enough money to form their own police department plus a boat that will need maintenance. The RV parks must be doing ok because they need little attention. At one meeting I attended an elderly resident was maintaining it for free. Lemus had a dream of turning it into Utopia because we need more lodging, gift shops, and restaurants (at the expense of turning the residents homeless). Seriously, it sounds like the people in charge can get away with stuff because it sounds like nobody checks on them. And what will/would they do with millions of dollars in grants, little to benefit the harbor I suspect.

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