Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Opinion and Commentary by Samuel Strait

It is quite often difficult to tell exactly who is running the show at
the public meetings of the Harbor Commission, for a show it is indeed. 
After over a year of “negotiations” with Alex Lemus, and his company
Renewable Energy Capital, one would think that either a deal would be
struck, or the Harbor Commission would be looking for something in an
RFP that would satisfy.  As much as Harbor Master Tim Petrick insists
that the deal has been made and all that needs to happen is for “some
language” to be worked out, something is not right with this deal.  As
such, on Tuesday past, Rick Shepherd at the Harbor Commission meeting
set to vote on the two leases in question, pulled the vote from the
agenda and delayed that part until yet another meeting is held on
Friday, April 8th at 2:00 pm.

During the fireworks on Tuesday, Kay Fry of On Site Development stood
by  her company’s statement that there was nothing inappropriate with
the harbor commission hearing her proposal, as no action was to be
taken.  She continued by stating that offering an alternative to Lemus’s
proposal was only sound business practice.  She then went on to address
a rumor that apparently originated with Harbor Master Tim Petrick’s
efforts at “due Diligence” where he checked into a project claimed by On
Site in Nashville Tennessee.  According to Petrick, On Site Development
was not responsible for the project that they claimed to have
completed.  The question at that point is, which story is true?

Often, the public bureaucrat is given the nod when it comes to fact or
fiction, yet why would the harbor master have e-mailed local resident
Linda Sutter, certainly not a friend of the harbor master?  And why
would Harbor Master Petrick even bother to do “due diligence” if the
proposal was not going to be heard?  Of course no one bothered to ask
those questions of the harbor master, after all he was only trying to
keep the “information” private to spare the “young lady a reputation of
misrepresentation”.  Efforts to contact Miss Fry for additional
information have thus far been unsuccessful and will appear in a future
article in the CCTimes with her side of the story if she becomes
available for comment.

In the mean time, the Harbor Commission needs to put a muzzle on Harbor
Master Petrick when and if it comes to decision time and let the
Commission make the decisions.  After all, that is what they are there
for…..  Before the next “Special Meeting”, there are five
commissioners that need to be very careful if they are going into
business with Mr. Lemus if it has taken this long to cut through the
fantasy world that he has spun to determine if the current project has
any more chance of being successful as the solar power project wasn’t. 
Having lived here for most of my adult life, Mr. Lemus’s proposal does
not measure up in any way that relates to normal activity during the
summer tourist season. High end luxury cabins, plush landscaping, and
Airstream mobiles make uncomfortable bed fellows with what would
typically occupy spaces in the harbor RV parks.  In winter forget it,
not when a hotel stay is the alternative.

Miss Fry and her Uncle have a much better feel for what is possible on
the surface, and it was a huge mistake on the harbor’s part not to at
least hear what they had to say.  Luxury tourism and a commercial
fishing port are worlds apart and not likely on many high roller lists
as a destination spot.  The current tenants would keep the parks alive
with their income to the harbor.  Empty seasonal spaces do not.  The
Harbor Commission would be wise to open up ears and listen to what
clearly has escaped them if they are even willing to think Renewable
Energy Capital is a “good idea”.  The Commission would be wise to come
back to earth and pass on a deal with Lemus and Company before it ends
up costing the harbor with another costly mistake…. I suppose on
Friday we will learn if any one was listening……

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