Two boater advocacy organizations — Recreational Boaters of California and BoatU.S. — have called for California boaters to speak up now to save the state’s Department of Boating and Waterways, better known as Cal Boating. They are urging boaters to contact Gov. Brown, their California state legislators and the Little Hoover Commission to inform them of the importance of keeping Cal Boating as a separate, independent and self-supporting department — not a mere division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Visit thelog.com homepage, click on the Take Action icon, and you can instantly send an email message to the governor, your state upper chamber representatives, state lower chamber representatives and Daniel W. Hancock, chairman of the Little Hoover Commission.
As Matthew Webb, chairman of the California Boating and Waterways Commission, told Little Hoover Commission members a few weeks ago, the governor’s reorganization plan would mainly end up helping the Department of Parks and Recreation — which regularly requires General Fund dollars to fund programs — while at the same time hindering Cal Boating’s ability to fund boating-related infrastructure and safety programs and remain transparent on where boating-related fees and taxes are being put to use.
“If the goal (of the reorganization proposal) is to defund boating activities, break the link between boater fees and taxes and boating infrastructure, and ultimately divert those fees and taxes into other state priorities, then eliminating the (boating) commission and separate department makes sense,” Webb stated. “On the other hand, if the goal is to maintain the link between revenues and services, provide transparency and give stakeholders a means to provide input to the department, then the (boating) commission and separate department should be retained.”
There’s still time for us to make our voices heard — but that time is NOW.