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A key department's being left out at sea

May 07, 2004

MIKE WHITEHEAD

Ahoy.

The seas are getting rough for the California Department of

Boating and Waterways as a new report is viewing the department's

funding as free money. Presently underway is the state's

reorganization plan being developed by the California Performance

Review process, and it does not include the department of boating and

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waterways. As such, the recreational boaters of California have

issued an urgent call to arms along with the Western Boaters Safety

Group calling to boaters to save the department.

The department of boating and waterways receives its primary

funding directly from a boating fuel tax and none from the state's

general fund. The boater's tax is returned to boating projects and

for infrastructure that helps to provide $17 billion a year to

California's gross state product. So, the short-sightedness by our

liberal-spending legislators can negatively effect our boating,

similar to our road taxes being siphoned away from our highways.

The department of boating and waterways is a self-sustaining state

agency that is directly paid for by the users (boaters), and I find

it very disturbing that now the department might be eliminated only

so others can get to their dedicated funding.

This does affect Newport Harbor and local boating, as the money

will be redirected to other uses. Funding for pump-out stations,

marina grants and loans, law enforcement training, and the very

important boater education are all threatened by the California

Performance Review process. It is difficult for the average boater to

find out what is happening in Sacramento with the approximately 250

people in 14 teams working on the review the process as

recommendations are secretive with the reorganization probably

initiating in January 2005.

I have listed below a sample letter from the Recreational Boaters

of California (http://www.rboc.org) who are asking boaters to send

them a signed copy of this letter. You can send your letter by fax to

(916) 441-3520, e-mail to rboc@rboc.org, or mail to RBOC, 925 L

Street, Suite 220, Sacramento, CA 95814.

The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor

State of California

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: California Performance Review Request Not to Eliminate Cal

Boating

Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger:

As a recreational boater, I urge you not to eliminate the

California Department of Boating and Waterways in the Reorganization

Plan that is being developed by The California Performance Review

process.

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