Reader comment is good analysis of Marina situation

COMMENTARY

BOB JONES

City resident Bob Jones speaks at prior City Council meeting.

The unfortunate thread that got lost in the discussion today is that the City does not have a baseline plan for a continued City-controlled option against which third party leasing proposals can be evaluated.

We got a lecture from one Council Member who admitted his strong bias against City management of most anything, citing historical leaders’ often with inapplicable quotations. Thankfully, he did acknowledge that the Kennedy Holdings proposal was way too low.

In fact, the discussion of a management services version of the RFP soon shifted the conversation away from a continued City-controlled Marina option recommended by Council Members Moss and Young to pursue a range of 3rd party options.

In reality, the choice here is quite discrete and revolves around who has the control along with the obligation of providing capital investment.

On the City-operated model, the Marina manager still has the option of using 3rd party services. The curious fact that never got air time is that the many of the same 3rd party contracting firms, e.g., Wilco, would likely do the remediation work.

Renovating and operating a marina is not rocket science, and there is no question in my mind that the City could recruit an experienced marina manager to lead the revival of our marina and who would love to move to our magical mini city.

Of course that leader would have to be given the capital to renovate the Marina and drive modest expansion.

The key missing element of this debate is that the in-source option has not been developed. It seems clear that the majority on the Council is willing to throw the dice that opposition will not mount a legal challenge on the Marina’s charter protection status. I hope they are wrong.

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