Irate fisherman wait four hours to speak
At the May 21, 2014 Harbor District meeting Commercial Fisherman Steve Fitz waited 4 hours to speak to the board of Harbor Commissioners for 3 minutes.
At 10:00pm when President Robert Bernardo called Captain Fitz for public comment Commissioners Jim Tucker and Will Holsinger responded by ordering an immediate end to the meeting. This was after Captain Fitz waited 4 hours while the board dilly dallied in closed session for 3 hour, leaving only 1 hour to cover a 21 item agenda.
It was at the point that members of the public began yelling at the board to let Captain Fitz speak. Commissioner Brennan urged President Bernardo to extend the meeting by five minutes. Commissioner Tucker got out of his chair and was about to walk out when President Bernardo agreed to allow one last public speaker.
Captain Fitz read aloud a letter to the US Department of Transportation from the Half Moon Bay Seafood Marketing Association. The letter requested the Harbor District be denied a federal Tiger Grant.
Highlights from the letter include a lack of faith in harbor management's ability to administer the federal grant appropriately and a vote of no confidence in the board of Harbor Commissioners.
Excerpt from the HMBSMA letter:
"We have made numerous attempts to participate in the public process with SMC Harbor District to no avail, therefore, due to the current climate within the SMCHD and because our lives depend on the changes made to our harbor, we cannot support the SMCHD Tiger Grant application at this time. We are simply not comfortable with public grant funds being provided for further changes to our port, that the local commercial fishing industry will not have a voice in."