Tidings from the Waterfront

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Many times people are so caught up in the fast paced lifestyle of Southern California that they lack the time to think through local events. There have been a few circumstances in Newport Harbor in my lifetime that have made me realize what, besides city staff, steers our city council.

Why have I noted the above mentioned events? I just saw on the KTLA news that bayfront homeowners want themselves and their neighbors to boycott our wonderful Christmas Boat Parade event from December 19th to December 23rd.  They want everyone to have their homes lightless to protest the huge residential fee increases city staff have for them.

For the last 30 years or so city staff has directed the path of our council. Staff is quick to point out publically our clean bay water but ignores the muck throughout the bay bottom. To clean up the large polluted muck would defer and limit their income and benefit packages.

An old adage is “divide and conquer.” A few of us who have lived here a long time have known city staff has effectively used this simple tactic. Years ago when the staff attacked the middle class mooring holders, they formed a mooring association to combat the unreasonably high tax increases. They needed everyone’s support. The marina owners, waterfront businessmen and bayfront residential support was lacking

At the time, as we had seen before; the mooring fees increase would only be the beginning. Divide and conquer.

Then they went after the marinas and bayfront business owners. Once this was accomplished they didn’t need to let the dust settle and have now gone after the bayfront homeowners. Divide and conquer.

The mooring holders didn’t support the marinas and businesses because there was no quid pro quo. The mooring holders, marinas and bayfront businesses won’t support the homeowners because of their lack of support when they needed it. Divide and conquer.

In the early seventies there was a moratorium on all dredging in Newport Harbor because a Coastal Commission staff member surmised, without any scientific proof, that dredging might kill the worms in the sand that was to be dredged.

I mentioned the seventies event because a large group of locals, businessmen, mooring users, boaters and homeowners came together to support like-minded individuals, to bring people together for the common good and directed the Newport City Council to have staff engage for the change.

Just think how shallow our harbor would be without dredging for the last 35 years. Even the few years of dredging permit moratoriums had many docked boats sitting on the bottom at low tide.

So my friends, from now on, please come together and support your neighbors and business owners. Unite and you will succeed. Let staff divide you at your own peril! The million spectators of our beautiful parade will come no matter what a few bayfront homeowners do or do not do to protest the city staff tax excesses.

Sea Ya,

Skipper Steve

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