Fishing group hopes To sink harbor manager



The Port San Luis Commercial Fishermen’s Association is seeking to remove Port San Luis Harbor Manager Steve McGrath.

Speaking twice to the Harbor Commission—most recently at the commission’s April 26 meeting—association member Butch Powers stated publicly the organization wanted the district to dump McGrath.

In a subsequent phone interview, Powers, who was appointed to lead an association committee tasked with the anti-McGrath effort, said a lot of little squabbles finally hit a breaking point for some who do business with the district.

“He just finally backed us up in a corner, and we’ve had enough,” Powers told New Times. “We don’t even want to talk to him anymore.”

But McGrath insists he’s unaware of any specific failures and was surprised at the first request that he be replaced.

“If there is a list of grievances—like I said, I haven’t seen it—they haven’t approached me to have a sit down,” said McGrath, who indicated the association’s decision was far from unanimous. “But I’m always willing to listen and balance the needs of the fishing industry here against the resources we have available to us, and the needs of the other users of the port and all of the taxpayers of the district that help support us.”

McGrath joined the district in 2005 as facilities manager, then was appointed by the Harbor Commission as the new harbor manager in late 2007. His current contract is set to expire Nov. 30, 2013.

Tempers have flared recently in the district after McGrath advised district commissioners to close the Harford Pier to vehicle traffic, warning that an aging canopy at the far end of the pier could be toppled by the movement of passenger cars. The pier was briefly closed to vehicle traffic before commissioners—facing a livid public—reversed their decision and opted for other solutions.

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