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The Harbor Report: New harbormaster gives off good vibes already

February 24, 2011|By Len Bose
  • Boats race in the 82nd annual Mid-Winter Regatta.
Boats race in the 82nd annual Mid-Winter Regatta.

We are at the warning signal for the 2011 boating season.

In the past two weeks I had a chance to meet — if only briefly — Lt. Tom Slayton, the new harbormaster. I also attended the "Harbor Vision" committee meeting and sailed in the Southern California Yachting Assn.'s 82nd annual Midwinter Regatta.

I introduced myself to Slayton, after he spoke at the last Harbor Commission meeting. I immediately noticed a number of good things that made me comfortable with our new harbormaster.

For one, Slayton was there in his street clothes. I cannot tell you why that makes me feel better. It just does.

And while introducing himself to the community, he said all the right things. Although I liked what I heard — that he would keep on the same course and maintain a similar style to outgoing Capt. Mark Long — at the same time, Slayton assured he was there to protect us.

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What I liked best was how he introduced Sgt. Steve McCormick.

"As long as I have Sgt. McCormick working alongside me, everything will work out just fine," Slayton said.

I also attended the second Harbor Vision Committee/Task Force meeting, chaired by Harbor Commissioner Ralph Rodheim.

As soon as I walked into the Council Chambers, I knew I was in the right spot when I spotted people like Tom Purcell, Gary Hill, Karen Rhyne, Mayor Michael Henn, Chuck Brewer, Dave Beek and many other harbor users.

My understanding of these meetings is that they gather a consensus for the best use of our harbor, then report back to the City Council through the Harbor Commission.

This last meeting's topic was the area at the top of the Lido Channel and in front of the Lido Village, which you sailors know as "Z mark." I noticed and heard some very interesting reactions and questions during the meeting.

Most of the charter fleet is berthed in this part of the harbor, and it was fun while listening to public comments to watch these business owners bunch up like bicycle riders without any riding pants on. I am sure my time is coming when my business is brought to the table, and these same business leaders will get to watch me drop my tiller extension and spin out of control.

The best question of the night came when Gary Hill asked Chairman Rodheim, "We just completed years of consensus-building on another topic. When we presented our finding to the council, they threw away our recommendations as if it never existed. Can that same thing happen again?"

Rodheim's answer was simple and to the point: "Yep."

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