How many of you are tired of all the mid term election adds on TV, Radio, and YouTube? If you are like me you just want this election to be over with. That’s how I am starting to feel about our Harbor Tidelands moorings permits issue. Similar to the Christine O’ Donnell campaign the Newport City Manager Dave Kiff continues to stir the pot. He has now come up with his own witch’s brew of appraising the value of a mooring permit. So let me try to pass on Mr. Kiff recipe for appraising our harbors moorings. First you go online and you look at what slips and moorings are renting for in San Diego Harbor then you take the percentage difference, bump the number up a little because it is Newport Beach and Bam there it is 17% you then compromise a minimal amount with the stakeholders and propose 14%. Lets just throw out the idea of a CPI based increase from 1996, the last permit increase, which today would equal out to a 45% increase. Lets also not subscribe to a stakeholders region-based demand model. Rather Mr. Kiff proposal is what is best and that an offshore mooring permit should be set at 14% of an average of slip rates in the harbor which pencils out to a 150% increase. Should the City Council follow his recommendation this increase could be implemented over the next five years and the full 14% should be “caught up” to slip rates by 2015. Then like Christine O’Donnell campaign you pull another issue out of your achieves and recommend one mooring transfer from the current permits holders within the next five years. “Trick or Treat” everyone! Your city manager wants to eliminate all mooring transfers after five years. Now, I am not sure if our City Manager understands the evolution of all the original mooring permit holders. These people had to purchase their mooring equipment and properly install the mooring weights. That’s right, the public with their own money paid for the installation of the moorings. What about all the permit holders who have paid for a transfer over the years? I can think of more than one person who is planning on transferring their mooring because they no longer use their mooring and the benefit of this transfer would cover there original expense. When asked this question Dave Kiff replied “It’s not my intent to eliminate someone’s ability to transfer a mooring-as long at it is for what should be a nominal benefit to the “seller” or no benefit at all, at least after the five-year period”. Again like Christine O’Donnell it appears Dave Kiff is not familiar with the fourteenth amendment of the constitution. Where is the due process for appraising the value of a mooring permits and transferability? Maybe that’s how he came up with 14% increase? Yes the city has formed an Ad Hoc committee and have set up meetings with the stakeholders but it does not take a political commentator to recognize these meeting are just a formality and yes Mr. City Manager you are meeting just for meeting’s sake.
We should also notice one difference from O’Donnell campaign to Mr. Kiff and that’s he is a very intelligent person and I can only hope he is throwing this transferability issue on the table as a negotiating chip with the permit holders. Similar to his tactic in obtaining outside bids to run the management of the moorings, or is he? We can only hope that this perceived agenda against the boaters and harbor users is just a man doing his job and understanding that every good deal is a fair deal to both sides involved. Otherwise this issue will drag out longer than this election and maybe even as long as Christine O’ Donnell regretting she ever appeared on the Bill Maher’s show.
Speaking of a show, this issue could be brought in front of the council as early as November 9th. I hope you all agree with me that a CPI increase from 1996 or a 45% increase fells more like a fair deal to everyone and I encourage you to contact your Council members before November 9th. Should you want further information on this subject just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org