I read with dismay a recemt front page article about the demise of the Harbor Patrol. The myopia of this decision is, in my opinion, astonishing and truly sad. But for the expenditure of a paltry $30,000, the City is dismantling what I believe is a “Poster Child” example of what an effective use of citizen volunteering can be. What does the City get for the $30,000? About 6,000 hours of time by highly trained, professional and dedicated volunteers who save lives, provide enforcement against “wake violators” and act as “goodwill ambassadors” to visiting boaters. They also eliminate the need to dispatch of far more expensive and overworked police officers. How does this compare to the millions spent on the totally nonproductive dispute over the Capitol Lake versus Deschutes River estuary debacle? Or what about the thousands of dollars spent on the despicable, while non-life threatening, graffiti problem? I proudly served as a volunteer on the Harbor Patrol for eight years and I am still moved and impressed at the professionalism and dedication of this worthwhile group. Shame on you, City Council.
Harry C. Baird