Greenwich politics

You wouldn’t know it from the recent goings on, but Greenwich actually has a few serious problems that voters might care about. Instead of which, we get spats between the First Selectmen candidates that seem more appropriate for first graders. Take today’s hubbub over the Greenwich Harbor Master: Lyn Lavery claims he was hired because he’s a pal of John Tesei, given an expensive new boat and, as the result of the cost of providing all that, boating fees have skyrocketed. She is completely wrong on her facts (the salary is all of $750 a year, the “new boat” is $2,000 spent refurbishing an old Boston Whaler) and I understand there will be a press conference (!) today at 3:00 to denounce her.

Get a grip, both of you. In fact there are some very real issues affecting Greenwich boaters, including a ridiculous fee imposed on all boats moored in Greenwich harbors, even at private yacht clubs and on private moorings as far away as Tower Island. The town spends exactly zero dollars maintaining these areas and imposing fees for their use is just an unjustified money grab.

The Harbor Master is rude, arrogant (he’s been seen, repeatedly, speeding inside the harbors far in excess of the posted five mph limit and ignores shouts to slow down), and he’s a bully, threatening owners of private moorings with the confiscation of their ground tackle if they don’t immediately pay a huge new “equipment fee” he has dreamed up and imposed on private property bought and maintained by the owners themselves.

So if either candidate wants to address those issue, they should go for it. Otherwise, they ought to just shut up about boats, which they seem to know nothing about anyway.

(While I’m on the topic, why doesn’t Lavery ask Tesei why, out of 69 appointments he’s made to Selectman advisory committees, he’s only found three Democrats up to the task? Personally, I’m surprised he found even three from the ranks of the unwashed, but Greenwich has in the past run on more of a bi-partisan basis.)


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6 responses to “Greenwich politics

  1. Stanwich

    Tesei’s thing about Lavery’s fluffed resume was foolish.

    Lavery’s attack on the harbor master is just lies.

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  3. Island surveyor

    Well actually, the “private property” is the hardware. The location is state property under Town control.

    Given that the average mooring needs a swing radius of 150 feet (thats 0.40 acres before a safety zone), the Town has been giving away annual usage of this valuable real estate for a $15 registration fee, prior to this year. And without control or knowledge of what’s really going on out there.

    To Tesei’s credit, and the Harbormaster’s, some order and fairness has been brought to this system of land grant alotments.

    A $100 exclusive-use rental for this acerage is reasonable, and has not been resisted.

    • christopherfountain

      I agree with your definition of private property and was using that sense. But they’re charging for inspection fees and I understand hitting the yacht clubs for use of harbor areas the clubs have paid to maintain.

  4. pulled up in OG

    Poor Frankie goes postal . . .

    . . . but the dingbat leaves him to the sharks.
    “Let’s move on,” Lavery said. “We’re beating a dead horse here.”

  5. Island surveyor

    The Town does not charge for inspection fees. They simply require the hardware to be privately inspected every three years, a reasonable requirement, given that we’re talking iron in salt water.

    As for yacht clubs paying to “maintain” harbor areas, this is hard to know what you mean. True, they service their own mooring fields. But their private use of public property, without registration, taxes, fees or control is not in the public interest.

    The State is aggressively “taking back” their ownership control. The governor’s appointment of harbormasters every three years for all the State’s harbors, is a part of this.

    Bottom line – if a private boater, in club or not, wants an exclusive use lease of nearly a half acre of public land for his private use, a $100 fee to the Town, with Town controls through a harbormaster with a “patrol boat”, stickers, inspections and a database of who parks where, makes as much sense underwater as it does on land.