Regular Meeting of the Waterfront Commission
February 9, 2000
Chair Wolgast called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
1. ROLL CALL
COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Cobb, Collignon, Kawczynska, Smith, Wolgast
STAFF: Smith, Marchetti,
2. Security at the Marina
Cliff Marchetti introduced Berkeley Police officer Ed Galvin who had been recently assigned to the Marina. He described a series of armed robberies that had been committed at the Marina. Officer Galvin said that robberies committed by people matching the suspects description had also occurred at marinas in Oakland and Emeryville.
3. Public Comment
Mr. Stephen Bales spoke against the proposed amendment to the Marina Ordinance that would require charter fishing vessels to book their passengers through the Bait Shop. He said that if he had known that he would be required to book passengers through the Bait Shop he would not have moved his boat to the Berkeley Marina from his past location.
Mr. James Smith, another charter fishing boat owner, also objected to this provision.
Mr. John Dyra, speaking on the subject of the off leash dog area in Cesar Chavez Park, said that he had been chased by off leash dogs while cycling and running in Cesar Chavez Park. He asked the Commission to consider designing the Cesar Chavez off leash area along the lines of the dog park at Ohlone Park, with a fence around the off leash area
4. Approval of Agenda and Minutes
The Living Wage issue was made an action item. Several minor changes were made to the January minutes. With these changes, the agenda and minutes were approved unanimously.
5. Election of Chair and Vice Chair
Commissioner Smith nominated Commissioner Kawczynska for chair. Commissioner Cobb seconded the motion. Commissioner Kawczynska nominated Commissioner Kamen. The nomination failed for lack of a second. Commissioner Kawczynska was elected chair unanimously.
Commissioner Smith nominated Commissioner Kamen for Vice Chair. Commissioner Cobb seconded the motion. Commissioner Kamen was elected unanimously.
6. The Marina Ordinance
Mr. Dennis Deaver, operator of the Bait Shop, explained his operation and advertising activity and the need for the proposed revision to the Marina Ordinance that would require charter vessels to book their passengers through the Bait Shop. He said that in order to retain competent staff, he paid his employees about double the minimum wage, that he routinely advertised in fishing industry papers and that he had just participated in three boat shows on behalf of the Bait Shop and the Marina’s charter fishing businesses. He said his promotions resulted in more customers for the Marina and that the Bait Shop was beneficial to all of the Marina’s charter fishing vessels. Commissioner Smith asked how the charter operators could be guaranteed that the Bait Shop would continue their promotional and advertising activities if the proposed revisions were adopted. Mr. Deaver said that his lease agreement with the City required him to spend a specified percentage of their gross earnings on advertising.
Mr. Deaver said that the proposed booking fee of 5% of passenger revenues was half that charged by most other bait shops. He said that in his first year of operation he lost money and in the second year he broke even. He said that without the proposed revision requiring a charter boat permit, none of the other proposed rules applying to charter vessels would be enforceable.
Commissioner Kawczynska asked for an explanation of the booking process. Mr. Deaver explained that charter boats specialized in different types of fishing outings. He said he books customers on boats depending on what kind of fish they want to catch. Those with no preference are distributed evenly among the remaining vessels.
Cliff Marchetti said the proposed charter boat permit would allow staff to determine that each vessel had adequate insurance and met safety and other standards of operation.
Commissioner Smith asked whether it would be agreeable to boat owners and Mr. Deaver if the Bait Shop were given exclusive booking privileges and the boat owners were allowed to retain equipment rentals.
Mr. Deaver said that bait and tackle rentals were a significant revenue source. Mr. Bales and Mr. Smith said they would be willing to pay the 5% booking fee as long as they were not obliged to book passengers through the Bait Shop. Mr. Smith said that he had signed an agreement with the City allowing him to book his own passengers and expected the agreement to supercede any revision to the Marina Ordinance. Cliff Marchetti said that he would ask the City Attorney to determine whether the agreement is enforceable.
Commissioner Smith said that the charter fishing boats should help pay for the Bait Shop’s promotion and advertising activities. Mr. Bales agreed. Commissioner Smith said that the Berkeley Dispute Resolution Service might be able to help negotiate a resolution to the disagreement over this part of the proposed Ordinance revision.
Deaver said that the City has established the Bait Shop in part to keep count of how many people are on each boat. Commissioner Cobb said that an accurate count was a basic safety measure.
7. Off Leash Dog Area at Cesar Chavez Park
Cliff Marchetti summarized his findings concerning the off-leash area. He said that over the course of the year the area was monitored, there had been no significant harmful effects to the area or Park users. Commissioner Wolgast suggested planting a dense hedge around the natural area. Commissioner Kawczynska said she was surprised at how well the off-leash area had worked. Commissioner Smith said it was his impression that there were fewer off-leash dogs around the perimeter of the Park. In response to a member of the public who said that dogs had chased him while he ran and biked in the Park, Commissioner Cobb asked for improved signage.
Motion (Kawczynska/Smith): Recommend to the City Council that the off-leash program be continued with regular monitoring to be conducted by City staff, and the western boundary of the area remain flexible.
The motion passed unanimously.
Motion: (Smith/Kawczynska) Recommend adoption by the City Council of the following recommendation contained in the City of Berkeley Living Wage Analysis prepared by Howard Greenwich for the City’s Finance Department:
“Considering that many businesses leasing property from the City benefit from their unique location, especially at the Marina, and considering that substantial low-wage workers are employed by these businesses, it is recommended that the City adopt a lease provision similar to the Los Angeles ordinance. The provision should exempt, however, very small employers with less than $200,000 in gross revenues and 7 or fewer employees”
The Motion passed unanimously.
9. Marina Plan
Commissioner Wolgast briefed the Commission on the January 6 meeting of the Marina Plan subcommittee.
The Commission adjourned at 10:00p.m.