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Longtime harbormaster won’t retire this year after all PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 18:20

Change in plan comes after study reveals Port marina is not overstaffed

    Port Washington Harbormaster Dennis Cherny won’t be retiring at the end of this year after all.
    City Administrator Mark Grams told the Personnel Committee of that change in plans Tuesday, noting the decision was made after the Harbor Commission completed a study of the marina and pondered the matter for months.
    “It’s our recommendation that things stay the way they are for at least the next year,” Grams said.
    The study showed Port’s marina has the proper staffing level for a facility its size, with two full-time employees and a cadre of part-time summer help, Grams said.
    He said most marinas have a full-time person to handle maintenance and facilities and one to handle general operations, duties held in Port by Cherny and Assistant Harbormaster Lisa Rathke.
    If Cherny were to retire, Grams said, the city would need to hire a facilities manager and train him.
    Cherny has also done a significant amount of work on the breakwater repairs, Grams noted.
    “I really don’t want to make any changes,” he said, noting the proposed 2018 budget recommended by the Harbor Commission and Finance and License Committee reflects that.
    Cherny had announced his retirement effective at the end of this year after a prolonged debate by the Common Council over the financial viability of the marina, which had just ended the second consecutive year in the red.
    That trend appears to have changed, Grams said, noting the marina is expected to end 2017 in the black.
    Next year is also looking to be profitable, Cherny said, noting there is a waiting list for slips and slip fees are increasing. The key factor, however, is one the city has no control over — weather.
    “I’m happy with the situation we’re in,” Cherny said.
    Grams said he also contacted a private company to see if it would be interested in operating the city’s marina, something that has been suggested several times.
    The firm hasn’t gotten back to him, “which probably means they realize they can’t make it work financially,” Grams said.
    That’s likely due to the fact that the Port marina pays its own debt service, something other communities don’t require of their marinas, he said.
    Unless things change radically, Grams said, there is no need to change the way the marina is operated.
    “That makes sense to me,” Personnel Committee member Dave Larson said. Daily Press