How many harbormasters does it take to …

New Bedford Harbor

First of all, let me preface this post with the fact that some of my favorite people are harbormasters.

That being said, according to the New Bedford Standard Times there’s a storm brewing in one of the country’s premiere ports. (Council questions assistant harbormaster appointment Sept. 25, 2008)

The controversy is basically how many harbormasters does it take to manage the top fishing port in America. Currently there’s 6 but the Harbor Development Commission wants to bump it up to 7. The New Bedford City Council seems to think that’s too many but Kristin Decas, executive director of the Harbor Development Commission responds:

“…seven is not too many assistant harbormasters for a port such as New Bedford with an active commercial fleet, passenger ferries, cruise boats, shipyards and a large number of recreational vessels.

…Fairhaven has five assistant harbormasters, Dartmouth has three and Falmouth has four. Also, by comparison, Salem has 17, Winthrop has 11 and Beverly has 14.”

Ms. Decas makes good points although this does have a bit of a how long is a piece of string feel to it.

What I found most interesting is how the article ended:

The city’s harbormaster is Lazarus Chongarlides. He is serving with a lifetime appointment. He has declined to retire, despite being in his 80s and infirm. He is paid $55,000 a year.

Wow, good work if you can get it! Although with lifetime appointments, it might be tough!

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Peter A. Mello

Father, son. Lifelong mariner, student of leadership, photographer. Professional creative placemaker.

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