By Roger Gitlin – EYE ON DEL NORTE – January 6, 2022
Tuesday’s Meeting was loaded with items of great interest to the Community:
- The fiscal year 2019/ 20 Audit was, alas, approved but not without a Letter of Contrition from Harbor president Rick Shepherd. President Shepherd took Commissioner responsibility for many of the unexplained irregularities including the misappropriation of a $600,000 item used to acquire the Bayshore RV park. The acknowledgement of these errors, as yet not fully disclosed to the Public, is more than disturbing. As part of the approval of the Audit, a financial Ad Hoc committee has been established with a mission to disclose those irregularities and insert the framework not to repeat these practices. Past Harbor Boards have been obstructionist and unethical in how it does business and how it fails to disclose important factual 4-1-1 to the Public. And one of those practices involved the Harbor wearing two hats at the same time:
- Landlord AND Tenant ownership in BOTH RV parks. The Ad Hoc Committee will report regularly with a very wary EYE ON DEL NORTE demanding full disclosure andResponsibility.* The next item was as opaque as oatmeal. The Harbor Commissioners were unable to effectuate a ground lease with Renewal Energy Capital LLC for the development of the Bayside RV Park with an exemption from any California Environmental oversight. Renewal Energy Capital and its CEO Alex Lemus were unable to articulate its role in providing funding to rehab the Bayshore Park and to assuage the fears of Bayshore residents who feel they may be evicted.
Back to the drawing table. Folks, there is no question improvements must be made at both Parks, now currently controlled by the Harbor Commission. The Harbor District has been inept in maintaining the minimum community standards, thus the results of human blight and deterioration have devolved the quality of life for the tenants.
It appears the previous Harbor Commissions have attempted to shift the responsibility to this new entity. I foresee big problems on the horizon if Commissioners do not slow down this freight train and take a few steps back, analyze this entire relationship. Harbor legal Counsel Ruben Duran has purposefully and unwisely excluded the Public from speaking up and asking these very hard questions to Mr. Lemus and his company. Very short- sighted by this Pratorean Guard Harbor counsel.
- Finally, alas, but not without continued obstruction from Commissioner Brian Stone, the Harbor agreed to send a Letter of Request to the State Water Quality Board to expedite a Permit to Dredge. Incredulously, Harbormaster Tim Petrick stated, ” …the letter would probably not be effective.” And Commissioner Stone pleaded the Letter not be sent for fear the request for an expedient Water Board intervention might incur additional scrutiny. The Commission voted to send the Letter on a 4-1 vote.
- Is it no wonder the Harbor Commission has made zero progress in dredging over this past decade?