Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

Opinion Piece By Samuel Strait – October 25, 2018 –

It is truly a sad day when young people in this County are taken in by emotional appeals like “Save the Harbor”.  I suppose it could be said that it is even worse when adults are gulled by the same arguments.  I have to find the humor in a recent Letter to Editor by a local woman claiming you have to be uninformed to vote No on Measure C.  She spins her way through the usual suspects of tsunami damage, to “a little bit
of help from our community to aid the continuing viability of the
harbor, and finally ending with a resurrected harbor and commercial fleet.
The harsh truth of the matter is clearly stated in the Harbor’s “Notice
of intent to circulate petition” ( Del Norte County sample ballot and
voter guide), where the harbor openly admits that “the harbor is running
a $498,000.00 operating deficit PER year and will run out of operating
funds within the next 2 to 2 and 1/2 years”.  If Measure C were to pass,
and the harbor was relieved of the $262,000.00 expense by the tax levy,
it would allow them to postpone bankruptcy for 4 to 5 years, and, to be
in exactly the same situation that they are in now.  So I have to ask,
both Ms. Loren A. Brown and Mr. Brayden Hatch just how uninformed are
the voters who are voting NO on Measure C, when the harbor itself
clearly appears to have misguided voters on the viability of the harbor
in the first place.The basic economics of the harbor’s current financial woes should scare
even the heartiest of supporters of the harbor’s current scheme to plug
the massive shortfall of daily operating dollars, let alone address the
$11.4  million in  deferred maintenance and the $5.5 million
indebtedness to the Department of Agriculture. The question becomes not
why people are opposed to Measure C, but what rational adult, let alone
a nineteen year old self described Bernie Sanders Socialist, would
support this kind of an irresponsible bailout of the harbor for a cash
strapped County. The final nail in the financial coffin of the current
Commission might not even wait around for the 4 to 5 years, but come in
the form of another devastating tsunami and millions of dollars of
further damage made even more expensive to restore by the ill conceived
actions of the Commission members that reached far too high in restoring
the damage from 2011.Let me assure Ms. Brown and Mr. Hatch, that voting NO on Measure C will
not be the kind of catastrophe that they and the harbor commission are
peddling to the public.  It will likely have very little effect on the
Commercial fishermen or the “850 jobs” in the harbor.  It will not
change much of anything with regards to the $10 million crab industry,
that only more State crabbing regulations are likely change to any great
degree.  Finally, only someone who is truly uninformed would think that
the additional TOT will not ultimately be paid by local businesses and
their employees.No passage of a measure on the local ballot is going to change the fact
that the harbor was in trouble financially long before the 2006
tsunami.  In the last eleven years there have been few attempts by the
members on that commission to change course and become viable.  The
actions of the commission during that time have, if anything, made the
harbor’s money problems far worse.  To suggest that this current effort
by the Harbor Commission and its supporters will “Save the Harbor” is
hypocrisy of the highest order.  The harbor, quite frankly, has been
financially circling the drain for some time.  The commercial fishermen
in the harbor aren’t in any condition to change that situation and
shouldn’t be party to the idea that it is possible.  The combination of
the harbor’s current inability to fund daily operating cost, pay its
debt and cover a massive deferred maintenance costs, which by the way is
indisputable, should give anyone pause, informed or otherwise.

This “uninformed” voter will be voting NO on Measure C.

3 thoughts on ““Save the Harbor” is hypocrisy of the highest order”
  1. There is plenty of vacant space here, it just does not pencil out financially. Why would a private entity come in? To take all of our great debt. We need to foster the private sector back to life. Granted, we need to be more involved in the harbor to make sure that it acts fiscally conservative while attracting GDP growth. Just relying on the private sector blindly in a logistically challenged economy will not work. In small out of the way communities, we need govt to foster new exports and new economy. We need another leg for our table that has a strong tourism leg and a strong govt one, but no table stands with two legs. We need to stop going to the mono culture of tourism to be sustainable and that is why I support the tax, it takes some revenue from a three month leisure industry and invest in hopefully a better job for the wage earners.

    1. Robert, clearly you don’t understand that it is government that has buried the harbor in that debt, and your solution is to give the current government board more money to waste and become even deeper in debt. Take money from what does work and invest it in what hasn’t worked for decades. Doesn’t seem like a very smart solution. What about $498,000.00 operating deficit PER YEAR do you not understand? Even if local people were gulled into passing Measure C, according to the harbor, they would still be $236,000.00 IN THE RED. Why is it so hard for people to understand that what ever happens with the harbor, if the current Harbor Commission is left in charge, the harbor will go bankrupt NO MATTER WHAT! Voting for Measure C is like flushing several hundred thousand dollars per year down the toilet!

  2. Me too, Sam Strait
    C is huge rip off and if passed will not solve long term financial woes. The Harbor must bring in a private partner investment group to assume this terrible debt AND develop a private marina partnered with a smaller Harbor.

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