Oceanside Harbor Committee deliberates police vessel purchases
OCEANSIDE— The Oceanside Harbor and Beaches Advisory Committee (HAC) explored the viability of purchasing a $500,000 patrol vessel as requested by Harbor Patrol officials.
During the May 15 meeting, city consultant and former city manager Peter Weiss, along with two members of Oceanside Harbor Patrol, presented a status update on the department’s boat fleet and addressed the division’s immediate needs.
“One of the things that I’m recommending is that for the boats associated with the harbor, that we allocate money through the Harbor Fund and use it just like we do any other vehicle in the city,” Weiss said. “We’re recommending $80,000 a year for the eventual replacement of boats. Whether that’s two, three or four, at this point, that’s yet to be determined.”
In a memorandum highlighting the capital improvements for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, a department request called for an aging vessel to be replaced with a 29-foot Crystaliner patrol boat. The application also recommended the purchase of an additional boat in fiscal year 2015-2016.
Weiss, who provided committee members with a packet highlighting the boat’s specific operations, suggested the capital be loaned from the Fleet Fund to replace the worn-down vessel. Subsequently, Weiss added that the borrowed money would be reimbursed through a Fleet Replacement Fund. He said there wouldn’t be any immediate outlay of money from the Harbor Fund to cover the fleet, and over time the allocated funds would be replenished.
Oceanside Harbor Patrol Capt. Fred Armijo charted the responsibilities of the department’s four vessels, noting that the boat in question, an R2 with weak structural integrity, a broken arch and blown stringers, needs replacement soon.
Harbor Patrol, which Armijo said has been involved in 486 individual responses since 2013, implement four boats in operations, with three used as patrol boats for firefighting, search and rescue and EMS actions. Still, several committee members requested more statistical background involving instances of response calls, vessel usage in hours and repair specifics such as breakage and downtime.
“You’re asking for a half a million dollars for these boats and they sit in the harbor all the time unless you see these guys training,” committee member Les George said.
Armijo said the precise details being sought by the committee are not available due to the lack of technology on the boats compared to patrol cars.
Kevin Byrne, HAC chairman, requested that Weiss and Harbor Patrol provide a replacement schedule of the boats, a comprehensive budget and information on potential grant money through email to committee members. City officials will propose a budget recommendation for the fiscal year to the City Council June 2. The HAC isn’t scheduled to meet again until Sept. 25.
Weiss also provided an update on the recruiting process of the Harbor Manager position.
“It’s posted on the city’s website and is being advertised,” he said. “The recruitment period will close on May 30 of this year.”
Prospective applicants will be screened by Human Resources between June 2 to 5 and interviews are scheduled to begin June 24. The HAC, under Weiss’ request, selected two members of the committee—George and Jim Jenkins—to participate on the interview panel.
Weiss said he will soon reach out to a member of the Economic Development Commission to also sit in on the process.
He added that final candidate selections will be submitted during the first week of July, and the goal is to have the new hire start no later than Aug. 20.