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H.B. may form Huntington Harbour commission

H.B. may form Huntington Harbour commission
Huntington Harbour includes five islands and a network of channels. It borders the city of Seal Beach. (Daily Pilot)

A select group of residents may soon oversee Huntington Harbour.

The Huntington Beach City Council on Monday will consider forming a seven-member Harbor Commission to supervise the welfare of harbor residents, as well as the waterway’s recreational and commercial use and infrastructure.

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The commission, which will include two council member liaisons, would offer input to the City Council and could study and analyze harbor issues.

Huntington Harbour, in the northwest corner of the city bordering Seal Beach, includes five islands and a network of channels, connecting to Anaheim Bay through a waterway.

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Council members Erik Peterson and Lyn Semeta introduced the commission idea earlier this year following the introduction of Senate Bill 1299 by state Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) in February. The bill would require that Huntington Beach craft a plan, explaining how it will maintain the harbor.

New assistant police chief

In other business, a proposal to create an assistant chief of police position will return to the council for a second reading. In 2017, an independent consulting firm recommended creating a second-in-command position to “improve departmental operational efficiency” and establish a “ladder of succession planning.”

Earlier this month, Police Chief Robert Handy told the council the role would be filled internally in hopes of preparing the next chief. He said a jump from captain to chief is “too big to make” and that having the assistant position would prepare a potential chief.

Funding is already included in the 2018-19 budget, according to the staff report.

Helicopter services for Costa Mesa

In another law enforcement matter, the council will consider renewing a three-year agreement to provide use of its police helicopter to Costa Mesa. The contract outlines up to 1,000 hours per year of exclusive helicopter services at an hourly rate starting at $735 for the first year and increasingly annually, according to the staff report.

The agreement could generate $900,000 a year for Huntington Beach, according to the staff report.

The Huntington Beach Police Department also provides air support to Newport Beach and Irvine.

The council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Civic Center, 2000 Main St.

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