Waterfront Study – First look at Draft report

Today the Consultant for the Waterfront Study gave a progress report and asked for additional feedback.  There was a large amount of information provided at the meeting – too much to be reported here.  Instead, the focus here will be on highlights and controversial issues.  There were three presentations and it’s quite possible that the different residents at the different sessions focused on different issues – I was present at only the first session.  The hot button was the Marina – especially the recommendation for a travel lift and the extra boat slips on the west side of the central pier.  But the consultants emphasized that what was displayed was a draft and that feedback was still being solicited.  The presentation mostly talked about how the results were obtained while the display consisted of a number of panels showing the 80 different possible projects.

The projects were prioritized based on the following matrix:

Results from dot exercise 15% Safety and security 7%
Beautification, arts and culture 5% Improving access 10%
Tourism Management 7% Anticipated level of use 4%
Health, wellness and Fitness 5% Multi-season benefit 5%
Naturalization of Environment 7% Business operations and customer service 10%
Estimated costs 10% Revenue generation 10%
    Ease of implementation 5%

After assigning values to each of these, math was used to generate a priority list which ranked the projects.

Download the results (priorities) for the first 53 (of 80) projects.

Then each project is looked at and will eventually be one of 29 projects recommended in the final report expected in a few weeks.

Studying Displays
Studying Displays

Some of the panels are available below in pdf format – these were from photos. If you need any more detail, sorry, you either had to be at the meeting or you’ll have to wait for the final report.  The consultants declined to put their preliminary results on line.

So what did people say and what are the highlights of the preliminary report?

Highlights

Below are my choices as being of interest – not necessarily with high ranking priorities.  Ranks are shown if they are in first 53.

Develop West Headland and West Beach

  • Improve pathways, keep it natural, add viewpoints  – Ranked #1 – everyone liked this idea.

Harbour

  • Provide for boat slips on west side of centre pier – Ranked #34.  Many were irate at this suggestion since Council had voted against the idea.  The consultant said that a future council may have different ideas.  There was also the implication that even with boat slips in this location, that there was still plenty of room for other users.
  • Formalize parking near Marina as overflow parking.

Marina

  • Add Travel Lift – Ranked #2.  There was considerable resistance to this idea. Why should  taxpayers pay for boater amenities?  An assurance that the cost would be paid by the Marina (which pays for itself) did not seem to help.  One commenter said he did not believe that the Marina was in fact self-supporting.  Marina manager Paul Gauthier assured me that the Marina was profitable as was the Campground.  They have separate budgets so do not cross subsidize each other.  But there is an urgency to getting a Travel Lift.  Effective Spring of 2018, the current method of putting boats in the water by a crane operated by a third party will not be viable due to safety and insurance reasons.  Even though only 50 of the 200 boats in the Marina use this service, it is thought that the Marina would not be viable if this service is not offered.  A Travel Lift is the best solution (more from November 2015 here).  Not everyone in the audience agreed that Cobourg needs a successful marina.
  • Consolidate Marina and Yacht Club buildings into one Community building – Ranked #3 – no-one commented on this expensive idea (estimated at $5.4M). It’s not clear what advantages this would have.
  • Use former Public Works Yard at 390 King for additional Boat storage. It’s not said if this replaces existing storage.

East Pier

  • Make Structural Repairs – Ranked #4
  • Add pedestrian Walkway and seating/lookouts – Ranked #7 and #9
  • Food Concession/restaurant on East Pier – Ranked #20

Campground

  • Re-align Walkway along south end to provide a visual and physical buffer  – 20 metres wide. – Ranked #12.  This is not really clear on the current sketches.  Go here for a better description.  The idea is to put a buffer of trees between the trailers and the path. This would extend out onto the beach area to get the required width.  No trailer spots would be lost.
  • Upgrade washroom and laundry – Ranked #51
  • Increase rates and reduce maximum length of stay – Ranked #11  No further details provided on how much increase or how much reduction.

Parking Management

  • Parking Structure Downtown ($7.6M) – Ranked #10
  • Parking Permits for Residents – Ranked #8

Victoria Beach

  • Enhance ByLaw enforcement – Ranked #6
  • Add Outdoor fitness equipment
  • Additional washrooms
  • Potential for licensed Patio space

The high ranking projects as well as some of the others will appear in the final report in a few weeks. It is expected there will be 29 projects with the implementation plan covering 25 years. The consultant wants all input/feedback to be sent before November 1st.

There could be another public meeting if necessary but none is currently planned.

 

Click to Notify me of
gerinator

I don’t agree with a boat lift and its supporting infrastructure. I want to point out that the lift (metal, wheels, straps, operator) is only part of the project. The other part is the supporting infrastructure to support the lift, get it out far enough into the water in order to lift a 53′ boat, for instance. This infrastructure will be considerably bigger, approx 4-5 times the volume and the dimension of the boat launch currently in place. In my opinion it will dominate the west beach.

Dubious

Right! I can’t imagine anyone who walks along the harbour, watches the birds or otherwise enjoys nature would agree to having a travel lift ruin things. And all to benefit only 40 wealthy yacht owners. We’ve had this fight before in Cobourg and harbour expansion was overwhelmingly rejected by the residents and by Council. Why did the consultants ignore the past and make a boat lift their #2 priority project? Who wants it?

Bill Thompson

Surely the resurfacing of the expansion issue etc cannot be due to the mayor and council as they stated publicly that they couldn’t support anything that encroached on the other stake holders / public users of the west harbour.
I wonder what the town’s CAO stance is on this issue ?

Dubious

Good question!
On the other hand, you may be putting too much faith in the pledges of politicians.

Bill Thompson

No chance of that !

Frenchy

$400K for a travel lift? Chump change.
Have the Holdco bottomless slush fund pay for it and be done with it.

Siobhan KENNY

Here we go again. With more slips built in the harbour there is not enough ROOM or DEPTH of water to adequately paddle Dragon Boats, certainly no room to turn. This is a point the Survivor Thrivers has made on multiple occasions. A fully loaded Dragon Boat weighs 3000 lbs. It requires 10 feet of water to paddle in. It CANNOT be confined to one little lane. AND on some nights there are four Dragon Boats training. What are we to do line up and take turns? Our practises would go to midnight. Another consultant who hasn’t read all the previous consultations. Can someone put in a Freedom of Information request to see who put this back on the table after it was quashed twice?

Dubious

I really doubt that there is anything to be learned from an FOI. Do you think that whoever keeps bringing up marina expansion, travel lifts and other previously rejected proposals would document their attempts to get their way?

Who is behind this? Who will benefit?

Bill Thompson

Old Sailor Re Your suggestion that the town hold an honest open Q&A session at town hall on this subject indicates possibly that you weren’t here or not aware of the past events of the last years re the marina expansion etc. proposal being twice defeated. Now it’s back again introduced by an unknown source apparently even when asked of the consultants who don’t appear to know or choose to divulge. Possibly third time lucky is the hope of those who are determined to make it happen by creating “public fatigue”on this issue and they ‘lol just let it happen because of apathy. Aside from this marina issue, the fact that five of seven municipalities in Northumberland County area regularly hold Q @ A periods at their council meetings suggest serious answers be demanded re Cobourg’s decision of refusal and not just deflection statements of so many avenues being available to the public. I assume all of the seven councils attended the same training at one time or other and heard the same “expert advice” as Cobourg council, yet Cobourg and only one other are the only councils who don’t allow the Q & A periods. That speaks volumes in… Read more »

Bill Thompson

The question of why / who included the marina expansion etc in this development plan still appears to be a mystery,particularly as the issue has been defeated twice, not to mention the cost of Shorellan Engineering consultancy. Perhaps if that would question could be answered it may help in this repetitive exercise. Notwithstanding the very high cost and large size of a proposed travel lift ($4O0+K was mentioned) ,and allegedly paid from marina funds, the use of it only twice a year for a very small number of boats and eye sore of storage ,the construction of a groin to facilitate its usage should not be overlooked . It is usually made of large boulders, but it can be made of concrete, steel or wood. It is designed to interrupt and trap the longshore flow of sand. Sand builds up on one side of the groin (updrift accretion) at the expense of the other side (downdrift erosion). The incorporation of this is only one part of transforming the west harbour and shore area into a proper boatyard. As was requested in the past,and again at the first meeting this week,the statement that the marina is self supporting has been made… Read more »

Ben

Ever since the CYC has been proposing the Town buy a travelift I have been opposed. Now the CYC has told the citizenry that all they want now is a loan from the Town to buy and pay for the device, over the next ten years let them have it.

After all if the executive of the CYC is willing to sign a loan agreement backed by promissory notes (I added that) what risk is there to the Town. The Town should be using its borrowing power to get a lower rate than the Bank and tacking on an administration fee for the privilege.

Bill Thompson

And if the CYC can’t repay the loan as promised?

Dubious

The town then liquidates whatever collateral the CYC executive pledged. That said, why bother? Let the CYC finance things on their own and keep the town out of the whole process.

Old Sailor

I think those who believe CYC has made some loan arrangement with the town should contact the CYC for verification. I am not a CYC member nor a boater with a boat in Cobourg Marina. But I doubt CYC would want to fund a travel lift. They have absolutely no say in anything that goes on in the Town owned Marina. Zilch. In fact less than half the boaters in Cobourg Marina are members of CYC.

Frenchy

Has the CYC (Cobourg Yacht Club) been proposing that the Town buy a travelift or has marina staff been proposing it? The “Marina” and the CYC are two different entities.
Some members of the CYC have boats in the Cobourg Marina and not all boat owners in the Cobourg marina are CYC members.

Old Sailor

Great question Frenchy. The CYC and the Town are completely separate entities. CYC has not engaged any consultants on the waterfront issues nor has it put together any kind of proposal for new slips, a travel lift or anything to do with the marina expansion. CYC does not own the docks or the harbour. The Town does. The Town has engaged all the consultants and the consultants have recommended the travel lift, expansion etc. etc.. CYC is an interested party like any of the other interested parties in the town re waterfront development. But in my view, CYC has no say in what happens on the waterfront.

Dubious

Since you seem to know about the CYC, has the CYC proposed/ recommended that, as John wrote, “Consolidate Marina and Yacht Club buildings into one Community building – Ranked #3 – no-one commented on this expensive idea (estimated at $5.4M). It’s not clear what advantages this would have.”? How much would the CYC contribute to this proposed project?

Old Sailor

A good question Dubious. CYC would have to be asked your question by the Town and respond to it. I doubt CYC has the financial ability or interest in funding a new consolidated facility. They already member self funded their own clubhouse years ago along with their Learn to Sail facilities. The Town’s consultants must have made that facilities consolidation recommendation as the Town engaged the consultants not CYC.

What really needs to happen is for the Town to have a long open and honest Q&A Town hall meeting with the taxpayers to talk about how the marina is managed and what the Town feels is needed for it to be a self sustaining operation. And whether the taxpayers want to fund marina shortfalls in order for the Town to have “boats in the harbour” if the marina cannot operate like other for profit marine facilities on the Great Lakes due to political constraints.

This lack of communication on the part of the Town has created a regrettable rift between taxpayers and boaters, who are for the most part just ordinary Cobourg folk.

Dubious

You bring up the possibility of a Q&A between residents and Council. An excellent plan! However, that option has been rejected by Council citing issues such as wasting the time of Councillors (!!!) and that they have legal advice to eschew such democratic processes. If you doubt the rejection then watch Ms. MacCarthy’s rant at Committee of the Whole last week at https://youtu.be/XS3zDRELlco?t=2810 )

Old Sailor

The long and honest marina Q&A session hosted by the Town may be the best solution. Perhaps those with political influence should push for that. It might clear the air on the topic and be quite insightful.

Over and Out

Old Sailor

gerinator

Long it will surely be, but honest, hmmmm?

Deborah OConnor

Definition of the word “rant”
VERB
speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way:
“she was still ranting on about the unfairness of it all”
synonyms: fulminate · go on · hold forth · vociferate · sound off · spout · [more]
NOUN
a spell of ranting; a tirade:
“his rants against organized religion”
synonyms: tirade · diatribe · broadside · philippic

Councillor McCarthy’s lengthy me-dominated speech may have been boring and lacking in actual content, but IT WAS NOT A RANT! Or is it that Dubious finds any words emanating from a female’s mouth to be a rant, which is a distinct possibility.

Dubious

Your opinion may differ but “go on · hold forth · vociferate · sound off” sounds like a fair description of her comments. I consider any, as you described it, “lengthy me-dominated speech … boring and lacking in actual content” to be a rant.

I’m unsure how the speaker’s sex is relevant other than for those lacking sufficient imagination to conceive of more innovative unfounded accusations.

Frenchy

Are you kidding? Are you really going to try and play that card? As goofy as the debate gets on here at times, for the most part we have managed to stay away from that kind of silliness.

Do you even know if Dubious is female or male?

Monica Sheridan

The CYC and the marina are two separate entities. Members of CYC are customers of the marina and pay for the use of their facilities.
We do not own docks or even the club house. We rent that space.
In the past members have hired a crane to lift out their own boats.
Marinas that have lift -out services are even more profitable than marinas not having this service and this is the reason that the plan to install one was recommended by the marina.

Bryan

Can you provide the analysis showing that marinas that provide a boat-lift service are more profitable than those that don’t?

A business case showing that a lift-out service is profitable for the Cobourg Marina has not been made. There are two issues: the high cost and the lack of demand needed to make the service break-even, let alone profitable.

Both Port Whitby and Port Darlington, for example, have a yacht builder and a boatworks that contribute a significant amount of the boat-lift work. Crate Marina in Belleville also has a boatworks and brokerage sales.

Cobourg does not have these facilities, therefore the demand for a boat lift service is much smaller, making it unprofitable.

Dubious

Making a “profit” on a cash basis, as reported by Gauthier, is not actually making a profit. Each year there needs to be a sufficient excess of income over expenses to produce a reserve to fund future repairs. That does not appear to be happening.

gerinator

John, from your opening remarks you state the following “consultants emphasized that what was displayed was a draft”. I agree that is what they said. However on the Town’s website this is what is stated “Presentation of final products and options. Request for input on preferences.” Seems to me to be quite a variance of intent.

gailr97

If the travel lift is indeed to be paid for out of the Marina budget, AND will be located east of the Centre pier the objections may be fewer. But interesting that 75% of the boats moored in Cobourg harbour in the summer months spend their winters elsewhere. So the lift is needed for 25% of the boats – how much will have to be charged to cover the cost? I think that what made many of the attendees irate at the session I attended was that the travel lift was ranked #2 of the recommendations, and that apparently ticking the box that said you would like the marina to be successful (and it would have been churlish to say otherwise) was extrapolated to mean that that you voted for the lift. However if the location has to be the area west of the centre pier its installation will intrude into the small craft and wildlife areas that are treasured by many.

Old Sailor

gailr97, The reasons why 75% of the boats moored in the harbour are hauled out elsewhere are simple. The current haulout location and process is the riskiest on Lake Ontario. The usual prevailing 50km October west wind blowing against your boat while it is being lifted over an eight foot cement wall makes the work of the haulout crew and boat owner extremely risky. Those not familiar with this process should watch it. Not to mention the danger of your boat being blown into a cement wall. Add that to the to Cobourg having the smallest boat storage yard on the Great Lakes with boats stored inches away from the next boat. How are you supposed to clean your hull when you cannot even stand beside your boat?

gailr97

Then it would seem that if having a travel lift will result in more boat owners choosing to haul out in Cobourg we will have another problem- lack of storage space. So there will then be pressure to increase that by annexing the ‘unused’ land close by. Which happens to be the natural area along the west beach and headland which was at the top of the List – even above the manufactured entry for the travel List.

Old Sailor

My comments relate to how to make the marina self supporting and safe. The town will never staff the current haulout and launch process due to the inherent legal liability. Which means a travel lift. If the marina cannot be made to run like the other marinas and clubs on the lake because of political issues then the town has to decide to either get rid of the marina and “boats in the harbour” or agree to bear the operating shortfalls of the marina. The boaters already pay the highest fees and receive the lowest amenities offered by the north shore marinas. Now is a good time for all of this to be resolved.

Ben

” The town will never staff the current haulout and launch process due to the inherent legal liability.”

Hmm what about subcontracting to an insured boat lift company, after all the boat hauler that performed the transportation of the cradles, and the crane operator, this year are insured and bonded. It is possible that company, or another could perform the job in its entirety with all the usual bonding and insurances. It is rubbish to say that only the Town, with its seasonal workforce and no equipment operating experience can do it!

Old Sailor

Your suggestion re outsourcing haulout and launch should be considered but would likely be uneconomic. If you have ever attended a haulout or launch or participated in one you will see the amount of manpower and skill required. No other marine facility on the lake outsources that.

My assertion was that the town has stated they will not haul or lift boats using their staff.

The point is that if the Cobourg Marina cannot operate their business like every other marine facility on the Great Lakes – due to political fallout in Cobourg – it will therefore will lose money whether it is in the operations or annual capital spending on infrastructure. And the town will have to pick it up from taxpayers. Very simple solutions. Run the marina like a for profit business or charge the taxpayers for the shortfall or get rid of “boats in the harbour”.

Dubious

I understand your point that numerous workers are required to perform the haulout. However why do you feel that outsourcing would be more expensive than having the town do the work (assuming that they were willing)? Most town staff are union and therefore well paid. Insurance costs for a private contractor should be comparable.

Are you seriously suggesting that a travelift, including the cost of purchase, operator, insurance, staff training, offsite storage and maintenance would be cheaper than hiring a professional crane operator for two days per year?

Old Sailor

Dubious, If you have been involved in a haulout or launch in Cobourg, you would know how many trained volunteers are needed. The town is not willing to train, insure and risk their staff on this perilous adventure. Put your questions to Paul Gauthier the marina manager and observe the response.

An open Town Hall discussion with residents on this topic is the best way to answer questions like yours from non boaters who are concerned about the operations of the marina.

Outsourcing haulout and launch is uneconomic. That is why no marine facility on Lake Ontario does it. Put your questions on this subject to the Town and see what they say.

Dubious

I agree that the town will not do the work so let us take that option off the table.

My point, which you ignored, was why would a marina owned travelift be “economic” yet a contracted service would not be. I do not understand why owning a travelift, with all attendant ongoing expenses — interest and debt repayment, maintenance, operator salaries, operator training and insurance plus a reserve for eventual complete replacement at end of life — would be cheaper than hiring a private contractor. The only potential savings attrituble to ownership would be no requirement for profit. That savings would be more than offset by the equipment being used for only a few days per year while the contracted service could have a far higher utilization factor. Have you or Gauthier done the necessary analysis to demonstrate the savings?

Old Sailor

The Town should consider your suggestion re contract services. I am not a town employee and cannot answer your question. I do know that no other marine facility on the lake contracts out hiring full crews to handle haulout and launch.

If you carefully watch the Cobourg haulout process you will see that the volunteer boaters who are the “crews” have years of experience doing this. You can’t rent this type of experience as it is not available.

As I recall, the last two consulting firms engaged by the Town, recommended a travel lift purchase and adding more slips and boat storage to help make it economic. It is a matter for Council to consider in conjunction with its marina staff. They have done all the number crunching.

Ben

Few people disagree on this we just don’t want the Town to pay for the sailors’ toy. The boaters’ should be paying for it.

Bryan

Unfortunately, Old Sailor, the Town has not done the number crunching. Had they done so they would not be proposing a travelift. It is not a self sustaining service option for the marina. The marina manager indicated this in his September 2015 report on the marina’s capital asset management report. He stated that the marina had a $1.25M funding requirement for the marina’s capital asset repair, replacement and expansion through to 2028. This jumps to $1.942M if a travelift and expanded storage yard are included. The pro-forma marina business plan indicated that the marina could not generate the profit needed to fund the annual capital requirement. A 2015 boater’s proposal to the Town indicated that $90K in revenue was needed to fund the operating and debt costs of a travelift. In 2017, only about 40 boats were lifted in & out. This is just over 25% of the seasonal boats. The storage yard is not filled to capacity. The 2017 lift-out fee for a non CYC member was about $525. Therefore, to break-even, 86 boats would have to be lifted in & out each season. This is more that double the number currently serviced in 2017. The question of where… Read more »

Dubious

Interesting! If the $90K figure is accurate it could be recovered by the current 40 boaters each paying $2250/year. Is that competitive with the charges at other marinas?

Ols Sailor

Take the 70 slips that are left empty all summer which no other marine facility on the lake does – for increased seasonal revenue of an average of $2,500 per slip and fill them with seasonal boats. Add the additional say 50 bigger boat slips recommended in the study west of the centre pier at $3,500 each for the summer.

Now you have ~ 260 boats in the harbour available for winter storage. Say 175 lift out and store in Cobourg @ a market price of $1,500 including haulout and storage versus 50 boats because Cobourg now has a travel lift, a civilized launch and haulout process and nearby expanded storage in the existing parking lot area. That math might work if you finance Improvements with a 7 to 10 year note payable at today’s rates.

The town needs to come clean on all of the possibilities instead of leaving us all guessing with our abacuses. Did I mention the need for a Town Hall come clean meeting?

Dubious

Even if that plan works financially I doubt that the public will agree to expanding into the west harbour or expanding the current boat storage area.

Bryan

What evidence is there to support the idea that 120 additional seasonal slips would be occupied? The marina says it has a waiting list of 100. These are only prospects, and as any salesperson will tell you, the number drop dramatically when prospects are asked to put their money on the table.

Further, what evidence supports the idea that the number of boats using the boat handling and storage service would increase from the current 27% to 67%?

Given that only about half of the seasonal boaters are CYC members and assuming that ratio remained unchanged, would the CYC members be willing to personally guarantee the loan?

The final challenge would be getting financing without the Town’s guarantee.

Old Sailor

In my experience powerboat owners prefer a travel lift to a crane as powerboats usually weigh more, are more fragile and can have up to 2,000 litres of fuel aboard. You won’t see powerboats lifted by crane at Cobourg’s launch and haulout.

Changing from a crane lifting your boat over an 8 foot seawall to a travel lift operation would in my experience bring all the powerboats back to Cobourg for winter storage and would dramatically increase the wait list. The marina should be able to confirm that assumption.

There are currently ~40 Cobourg Marina boats stored in Bowmanville for the winter because they have a travel lift.

Marinas on Lake Ontario, except for Cobourg Marina, buy the travel lifts, not the boaters. So I doubt CYC members would guarantee a travel lift loan.

Dubious

The difference is that the Cobourg Marina is owned by the town rather than an independent company which means that the taxpayers must take all of the risks. Since the marina is profitable (we are told) it should be able to be sold for a tidy profit. Let a private company assume the costs of repairs and funding improvements!

Bryan

In my experience, powerboats are typically hauled in/out using a hydraulic trailer not a crane or TL. The power boats stored at Cobourg are handled this way. In addition, some are stored elsewhere and brought to Cobourg by a boat moving service for launch.

None of the Kingston marinas have a TL. Most use cranes, either mobile or fixed in place. There are two Town marinas, Confederation Park and Portsmouth.

The Confederation Park marina is located down-town in a park setting similar to Cobourg and Trenton, Like Trenton, it has no storage or haul-in/out facilities.

Portsmouth is located across the bay from the former Kingston Pen in a residential/park area. It is similar to Cobourg with 250 slips and storage. No TL.

The Kingston Waterfront Plan (ThinC) made no TL recommendation that I could find. Can’t help but wonder why they made the recommendation for Cobourg.

Bryan

“…riskiest on Lake Ontario” Do you have an analysis that supports this?

In the past 5 years and 10 years how many lift accidents have occurred at Cobourg?

Properly managed, with a trained crew, is a crane lift-in/out any more dangerous than using a travelift?

This just seems to be fear mongering, somewhat akin to telling young children that there are monsters under their beds.

Old Sailor

If you are not a boater who has hauled out several times in Cobourg in late October and who has also hauled out by travel lift at another facility in late October the difference cannot be explained in words. You have to experience the difference in risk yourself. Speak to the marina management about why they do not want to take over haulout without a travel lift.

Ben

I too was puzzled by the sudden elevation, on the priority list, of the travelift to the second highest priority. Ask anybody, other than CYC members and it would be far down the list. This item alone ruined the integrity of the process for me.

Old Sailor

This new waterfront study is likely the best study issued on the waterfront. For the marina portion of the proposal, what is being recommended is what anyone who has visited all of the ports on Lake Ontario would recommend. If run like the other marinas on the lake Cobourg Marina should be self sustaining. Which means add a travel lift, add more slips, fill all the slips with seasonal boaters and add a lot more boat storage revenue.

Ben

And yet this option of Marina expansion has been rejected by the greater population many times. The Marina and waterfront is not exclusive to the boaters. We have to share it and a lot of people think that the boating share is quite big enough already.

Fred Luken

The Waterfront Study presentation was very interesting, in terms of how public input to date was given a rating value of 15%, while all other factors including cost, etc. ended up with an 85% weighting. I think it would have been helpful to have this “expert” input before the public was asked to vote on priorities, and then give more weighing to “informed” public opinion afterwards.
Plans for the campground were disappointing. Why spend money to move the beach walk closer to the water, in order to provide more of a buffer between beach and campground? Why did the proposal to eliminate the first row of camp sites not get persued?

Frank

Any discussion of moving a walkway closer to the water must consider increased flooding episodes due to climate change and uncertain weather extremes.

Ben

East Pier

Make Structural Repairs – Ranked #4
Add pedestrian Walkway and seating/lookouts – Ranked #7 and #9
Food Concession/restaurant on East Pier – Ranked #20

Unfortunately this project will not happen unless we do #1 – Make repairs. Sad thing is that this is not costed, unless one costs this then the project has no way of being discussed in a rational manner by the people who control the budget.

Dubious

By “by the people who control the budget” I assume that you mean the taxpayers. Why not identify them explicitly?

Ben

Be serious since when do “the people” (whoever they are) control the budget? Taxpayers, as opposed to citizens, usually know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Councillors, rarely act as Citizens but take on the mantle of “stewards of the public purse” but follow the dictates of a highly paid staff. Paid staff take on the role of bureaucrats following what is good for the “organisation”.

Cynical I know but have we ever seen a Council in the last twenty years say no to the ever enlarging hydra called City Hall.

Dubious

In less than a year we have an opportunity to remove those “stewards of the public purse” and elect some who actually care about the taxpayers rather than helping relatives and currying favour with the bureaucrats.

Bryan

By “control the budget” do you mean staff & council?

Dubious

You’re more cynical than I!