GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

February 26, 2013

Letter: Waterways Board trying to do right by city

To the editor:

Last week, an inflammatory Times editorial called for the disbanding of the Waterways Board.

It’s unfortunate that the editor, Mr. Lamont, prefers to lob bombs than to actually understand something so important to our community. And in my two years as chairman of this board, he has never once called me to discuss any of the issues.

So let’s set a few things straight. The current members of the Waterways Board are committed to providing greater capacity to accommodate visiting boaters, both cruisers and day-trippers. Moreover, there has been a cultural shift towards pro-action in the past 11 months, when the board got four new members. In that time the board has:

Put in motion the purchase of a launch, so visiting boaters have a gateway to access downtown within the DPA.

Begun work on a marketing strategy to welcome visiting boaters.

Funded design plans for expansion at Solomon Jacobs Landing to include bathrooms and showers, more transient dinghy tie-up and ADA access.

Funded a feasibility and marketing study for a transient marina.

Helped fund the Lanes Cove Fish Shack restoration.

With Seaport Council, funded a new facility for Sail GHS and the YMCA youth sailing programs.

Funded a mooring re-gridding study to determine if a floating marina would fit in the proposed area -- a first step that was missed by proponents, which slowed down the process.

Created stabilization funds for maintenance and repair of the commercial marinas and to enhance public access.

Acquired CPA eligibility approval for improvements to Hodgkins Cove and Head of Lobster Cove Public Landings to create better public access.

Directed the harbormaster’s office to aggressively enforce mooring regulations so all moorings are fully utilized.

Voted to increase patrols on the Annisquam River, directing the harbormaster to crack down on speeders.

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