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The Harbor Report: A new sheriff (or two) in town

March 07, 2013|By Len Bose
(Courtesy LEN BOSE )

Time to catch up on some harbor news this week.

It's been recently announced that Harbormaster Lt. Tom Slayton will be retiring this month. While talking to him on the phone, I found myself stumbling to pronounce his full name, and he said, "You can call me Tom." I then thought to myself, how lucky we have been with our last two harbormasters, and I started to stumble again on who his replacement will be.

One of the many strong points of Lt. Slayton — Tom — was that he would always take the time to explain the harbor issues with me, and he could read the approaching situation. Before I could stumble out another word, he said, "My replacement is Lt. Mike Jansen, and he will keep the same course."

I sat back in my chair and thought, wow, how did he know my biggest concern was that we would fall off course like we did two harbormasters ago? I am starting to like the new guy already and I have not even met him yet.

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For those of you who did not know, Tom is retiring at the age of 52 after 27 years with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the last two years as our harbormaster. "It's time to spend more time with my two kids" ages 8 and 11, Tom explained. "Being the harbormaster has been a great opportunity for me and challenging." He agreed to answer a few more questions and gave me his and Mike's email addresses. I'll just need to take some time and come up with some thought-out questions for them in the near future.

My understanding is that Tom will be attending next week's Newport Beach Harbor Commission meeting, and I assume Mike will also be attending as the commission thanks Tom for his hard work and understanding. I also received more news from the Harbor Patrol that Deputy Carlos Contreras will be retiring this month. Carlos has been a mainstay in our harbor for 17 years and has been our mooring administrator and boat accident deputy during his watch. I have always felt that Carlos was easy to approach and more than willing to help me when I called him. So it looks like there will be a couple of new sheriffs in town. I had to say that; the good news is that we should be holding our same course.

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