Mailbag: Boat owners should pay their own way

Mooring charges in Newport Harbor should be revenue neutral and not be subsidized by the non-boat owners of the city ("Newport could say no to bigger boats," Nov. 19). In addition, the availability of the leases, which are public property, should not be used for profit at the expense of those legitimately waiting their turn for a mooring lease.

As a non-boat owner I object to subsidizing the cost of mooring boats. This is not essential. No one died or had their health impaired by not being able to moor their boat in the harbor. Owing a boat, with the exception of working fishing boats, is a luxury and almost all of the boats in the harbor are pleasure boats. It is inappropriate for my tax dollars to subsidize this cost so boat owners get a good deal. If the cost of the operation goes up, the fees should also rise.

Regarding the lease-transfer issue, the reselling of leases under the guise of transferring boat ownership is blatantly private profiting by reselling public property, the lease. To use an analogy, the parking area for motor homes at state parks is like a harbor for "land yachts." State park spots in the south are in high demand in the summer. If I rent a space for my motor home, and then transfer that space to someone for a fee in addition to the rental, I'm using a public resource for profit. In addition, it is patently unfair to the other people waiting in line to get a spot to park.

Private boat owners should pay their own way and not be subsidized by the rest of the taxpayers. The process for leasing should be fair and not allow for a private profit from public property. The committee and city staff recommendations are correct and should be adopted.

Dennis Baker

Corona del Mar

Reconsider priorities with Newport Harbor

So, just where do we draw the line between commercial and recreational use of the bay? Raise taxes on mooring fees, then cut back on commerce? You guys are micro-managing the bay when there's bigger fish to fry. Imagine if you could redesign Newport Harbor from the beginning: how might that look and function? We do need West-end tidal flushing and to divert the daily 20 million gallons of runoff from San Diego Creek. I'm not in total support of the big party boats, but they do stir up the gunk in the bay.



Pumps prevent damage

As a 60-year resident of Balboa Island, I understand the dangers of a combined high tide and heavy rain storm. On the mornings of Saturday and Sunday, this occurred. My guess is that most residents heard the rain and simply rolled over and went back to sleep, unaware that lonely city employees, standing in soaking rain gear, are positioned at low points around the island manning gasoline-powered pumps. It is these men, and their pumps, that prevent literally millions of dollars of flood damage from occurring. Maybe we residents, or at least the insurance companies, need to say, thank you to the city of Newport Beach, the employees, and especially the supervisor who has the foresight to check the tides and the weather and assign the men their jobs.

Mike Buettell

Balboa Island

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