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Committee gives input on next marina manager

OCEANSIDE — City Manager Steve Jepsen asked the Harbor and Beaches Advisory Committee for its input in hiring a new harbor marina manager Jan. 23.

Harbor Marine Manager Frank Quan will retire Feb. 13.

Jepsen said some qualities to look for in candidates are an individual who can help the harbor marina reach long-range goals and deal with day-to-day operations.

He added that some current harbor positions, such as a full-time electrician, might be contracted out down the road in order to run the harbor more efficiently.

He also mentioned the possibility that the hotel may be torn down.

“I want someone who wakes up every day and this is what they think about,” Jepsen said.

Committee member Jim Jenkins said the marina manager should be someone who wants to serve long term. He added, the candidate needs to be a person who can communicate well with boat owners, slip renters and harbor shop owners.

Jenkins also suggested that the position be elected instead of appointed.

“We really need to have a good manager — someone who thinks outside the box,” Jenkins said.

Committee member Les George said it would be prudent to hire someone who does not currently work for the city and can bring in fresh ideas.

“Slip renters and boat owners are not the customers anymore,” George said. “New blood can provide public service. That has gone away and needs to be brought back.’

All agreed the position is an important hire.

Committee chair Kevin Byne said he would like to include all committee members’ input.

Due to the short hiring timeline a subcommittee will likely be formed and meet with Jepsen to discuss job qualifications.

City staff said a decision on who will fill the position would be made within three weeks.

This includes the option of appointing an interim marina manager to fill the position while a candidate search continues.

The committee also discussed the end of the dock safety ladders pilot test.

In May 2013 six retractable safety ladders were installed along the docks to aid boaters who fall into the water at a cost of $2,724.

Four ladders were removed because they were installed incorrectly.

A lift was added to a least one of the remaining two ladders to enable it to extend into the water more smoothly.

Signage was also installed to point out where safety ladders are located and identify them for emergency use only.

George said there is no maintenance plan for the remaining ladders, which will stay in place until worn or damaged.

He asked Jepsen what the city’s next steps will be and suggested that additional safety ladders be installed and a monthly maintenance plan be adopted.

Committee member Steven Derganc said the pilot test showed there was an issue with swimmers and paddleboarders accessing ladders for recreational use instead of emergency use.

He added that more importantly ladders do improve safety and suggested 10 to 15 new ladders be installed.

Jepsen said the committee could determine next steps without bringing the item to City Council. He said he would meet with the subcommittee that has been working on the item.

As of now, there are no plans to add additional ladders or adopt a maintenance plan.

George stressed the importance of moving forward with the item because safety ladders can only be installed by the city.

The committee’s next scheduled meeting is April 24.



SeniorRights February 2, 2014 at 9:33 am

Your City tax dollars at work: 6 safety ladders were installed (by the City) to aid swimmers & boaters to climb out of the water in an emergency. 4 were installed “incorrectly” and were removed, but NOT replaced or reinstalled. And NO plans to install the 10-15 ladders recommended. “Current harbor positions may be contracted out . . .?” Do we really need to outsource ANY Oceanside jobs in this economy?? DUMP KERN & FELIEN IN 2014.

anon February 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Good luck hiring a real harbormaster. Oceanside practically invented cronyism!

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