After only 20 months as the Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbormaster, Lt. Mark Long is being promoted to captain and leaving harbor patrol operations.
Long's last day as Harbormaster is Feb. 24. The next day he'll start his job as captain of the sheriff department's Strategy, Accountability, Focus, Evaluation unit overseeing department policy, contract negotiations, risk management and worker compensation issues.
Looking back, Long said Friday in an interview with the Pilot, working with the public was the easiest part of the Harbormaster's duties.
"My biggest challenge was mitigating the uncertainty of our future while attempting to make service improvements and change long standing practices," Long said.
Long saw the department through a performance audit review, a nine-month effort by Newport Beach to seek cheaper management of moorings that the community ultimately rebuffed, and another look by county leaders at who should pay for the Harbor Patrol.