Letter sent to Clearwater Mayor and Commissioners - Existing and New Marina Slips
I have followed with great interest the past two articles in the Gazette regarding the marina and boat slip situation. You anticipated needing a lottery and "nobody came."
I was very excited when the marina first got approval and wanted very much to put in a reservation and send in a deposit. I was totally turned off to the idea and walked away from even throwing my name into the 'lottery' once I received the rules.
The purpose of this note to you is to tell you why I backed out in the hopes you will rethink some of the gross unfairness in the rules which were developed. In speaking to others who reacted as I did, you need to understand that I am not the only one who reacted to the heavy-handed unfairness:
- The price per foot is NOT competitive, especially in this economy. There are nicer marinas at lesser costs. That is also why the existing marina is experiencing vacancies for the first time.
- "The registration form and fee is non-transferable." This is not fair. We all have children and/or friends who fulfill the residency requirements and in the hopes of increasing our chances, I was planning to enter my sons' names. What's wrong with that? I was also going to enter my brother's name as well as my nephew's name, who also live here. Under your rules, I couldn't do that. Furthermore, since you have the residency rules, "winners" should have been allowed to transfer to someone else as long as the residency rules were still followed.
- $100 non-refundable fee to be put on a wait list? PLEASE! No one knows if the wait list would have been 2 months or 2 years or how long. It costs the city nothing to maintain a wait list and it certainly is easy to allow someone a chance to act if called or crossed off the list.
- "Must occupy the slip within 60 days." This was the killer for me. That is not fair in any way, shape or form. Personally, I was planning to go to the Boat Shows in Miami, Sarasota, and Tampa and see what kinds of deals were out there - without a crystal ball, I don't know exactly when I'd decide to trade in my existing boat and certainly don't know exactly what length boat I will end up buying. As long as one was willing to pay the slip rental rates, you should NOT require someone to occupy the slip within a certain number of days.
- "The slip reverts to the city upon sale of the vessel." This was written by a non-boater. Some, not all, but some of the appeal to selling a used vessel is that the buyer knows that he or she will have a place to keep the vessel. Again, all of the rules still applying, this should not be a hard and fast rule.
- The slip size written on the application form must be accepted or the deposit forfeited. see # 4.
Again, boaters need a little bit of flexibility.....GEEZ.
There are other problems with the procedures, rules, and processes, but I think you get the picture: They are very arrogant, heavy handed, and unnecessarily inflexible. In this time of an economy headed for depression, I would hope you take these issues to heart and rethink some of them. I, for one, would still be interested (as would others) if the city could lighten up on some of the more restrictive 'rules.'
- Marty Greenberg, Clearwater Beach