2005-10-20 / Front Page

Harbor panel skipper says he’s stepping down

By Sam Bari

Harbor panel skipper says he’s stepping down

At the close of the Oct. 12 meeting of the Harbor Management Commission, Chairman Jim Archibald announced that he was submitting his letter of resignation, effective as of Dec. 31, which is the end of his appointed term.

Archibald cited personal reasons for making “a tough decision.” He said his children are at an age where they are heavily involved in scouting, and he feels that in the best interests of their development, and in the best interests of his family, it is time for him to step down to afford him the time needed to be involved in this pursuit with them.

Archibald said he feels compelled to stay and see some things that he started — like the passing of the the state Coastal Resources Management Council ordinance — through to fruition, but he does not see anything of major consequence finishing up in the near future. Consequently, he has made the decision to step down at the end of December.

Archibald has been a commissioner since 2001 and chairman of the commission since December of 2003.

Archibald noted that commissioners Mike DeAngeli and Greg Murphy’s terms are ending on the same date, and reminded them to submit their letters of intent to Arlene Petit, the town clerk, by Nov. 1 so that she can advertise the positions and arrange for anyone wishing to stay on the commission to be re-interviewed for the post.

In other business, the commission’s Executive Director Thomas Tighe’s Report was given by Lt. Donovan, acting police chief, who sat in Tighe’s place. A request for bid of $1,750 was received from Conanicut Marine Services for work on the town’s inner touchand go dock at East Ferry. Tighe, the town’s police chief and currently interim town administrator, had written that the price was reasonable, and gave permission to proceed with the work.

Bids were received for maintenance work on the ARC inflatable boat. The quotes will be passed on to Tighe when he returns and will probably be awarded to the lowest qualified bidder.

Also, Harbormaster Sam Paterson submitted a hurricane preparedness list, as requested by the commission. Additionally, the Fort Getty Pier needs repair, according to a report from the Assistant Harbormaster Joe Falcione. In conclusion, all pump-outs will be taken down by Oct. 28.

Harbor Clerk Paula Swistak itemized the mooring permits by zone, as requested by Archibald at the last harbor commission meeting. Archibald noted that more mooring permits have been issued this year than in each of the last four years due to improved record systems and monitoring by Swistak and Paterson.

In the harbormaster’s report, Paterson noted that 60 people awaiting mooring permits in Zone C can now be accommodated because space is available. The ARC inflatable boat will be out of the water by the end of the month and the pump-outs will be decommissioned, he noted.

Paterson also mentioned that a letter of complaint from Brad Whitman concerning a problem with boat traffic and speeders in Mackerel Cove was forwarded to Tighe because of the harbormaster’s perceived lack of response. Paterson said did not respond to the letter because it was sent to an incorrect e-mail address while he was on vacation. Upon receiving the letter, Paterson responded to Whitman’s concerns and said that he would bring the matter before the commission.

In his response to Whitman’s letter, Paterson agreed that certain user groups were speeding, and that the increased boat traffic was endangering swimmers. However, Paterson is the only officer patrolling 25 miles of coastline that includes two major harbors and four coves. He also agreed that increased patrols and additional no-wake buoys would assist in relieving the problem.

Paterson voiced Whitman’s concerns to the commission and suggested the possibility of purchasing another patrol boat and adding personnel on weekends during boating season to share the burden of patrolling the entire island. In cases of emergency, travel time from one side of the island to the other was prohibitive. Commissioner Greg Murphy supported Paterson’s suggestion.

Commissioner Mike DeAngeli moved to add Paterson and Murphy’s suggestion to the agenda for the commission’s next meeting, in November. The motion was accepted by the commissioners.

Julio DiGiando, Town Council liaison to the commission, noted that the council has objected to tankers transporting liquid natural gas in Narragansett Bay. The subject will be further addressed at the next Town Council meeting.

Archibald noted that the harbor commission is working with the Fort Getty master plan. Mike Gray, the town’s deputy public works director and town engineer, and Tighe are getting qualifications for an engineer to help Gray with the plan and pier. Applying engineers were all equally qualified for the job. Adecision has yet to be made.

In old business, guidelines for verifying mooring locations were reviewed. Archibald shared a sample letter that was designed to demonstrate to mooring owners how to supply new GPS co-ordinates to a minimum of five digits. Commercial mooring inspectors are required to supply new GPS co-ordinates. Both original inspection numbers and transposed numbers must be presented. A detailed letter is now being drafted and will be sent to 18 commercial inspectors stating regulations governing the new format.

Archibald and Commissioners Bob Bowen, David Laurie, Mike DeAngeli, Chris Brown, and Greg Murphy attended the meeting.

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