At the May 21, 2014 Harbor District meeting Captain Steve 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."
- Despite continued deficit spending and poor job performance the General Manager was awarded a contract extension on June 4, 2014. A few weeks earlier the board voted (4/1) not to give the General Manager a 2014 performance evaluation.
- In April and May 2014 the Harbor District General Manager and Harbor Master allowed work to be preformed on two new construction projects at Pillar Point Harbor without obtaining the required permits. County permits were not applied for and Coastal Development Permits (CDPs) were not applied for in advance of contractors completing work on both projects.
- Top management were given raises and contract extensions in 2013 despite poor job performance.
- Commissioners Jim Tucker, Will Holsinger, Robert Bernardo and Pietro Parravano voted to give the General Manager a raise in 2013 without a performance evaluation.
- Commissioners Jim Tucker, Will Holsinger and Pietro Parravano voted not to give the General Manager a performance evaluation in 2014.
- Management refused to provide Harbor District policy manuals to commissioners in 2013.
- Outdated Master Plan was approved in 1991
- In 2013 management paid more ($4,000) for a study about installing wifi than the combined cost of equipment, software and installation for both Oyster Point Marina and Pillar Point Harbor.
"The San Mateo County Harbor Commission has lost its way, and constituents are paying the price. The most disappointing fact of all is that violations of law, breaks in decorum and offenses to the practice of good governance are too numerous to mention in this space."
Clay Lambert, Editor, Sept. 26, 2013
In 2012, the Harbor District began charging the highest fish buying fees in the state. The decision has been at the center of upheaval between the District and those in the commercial fishing industry.
Samantha Weigel, June 6, 2014
“There’s ongoing distrust and frankly, our commercial fishing association has not been happy with the way commissioners have been conducting District business,” Steve Fitz said. “We simply want to be considered because the decisions they make, impact our businesses directly. And we deserve to be at the table and we haven’t been.”
Samantha Weigel, May 29, 2014