HAPPY NEW YEAR!! As the page is turned into 2019, I normally reflect on the past year and determine what went right, what went wrong and how we can improve on it in the new year. It was a very eventful year, with good, bad and ugly. The Harbor Department is part of the larger Ventura County family, and we definitely experienced the ugly and bad towards the end of the year with the tragic nightclub killing spree and then the widespread fire. While neither directly impacted Harbor operations, I am proud to be part of a team that moved quickly, professionally and compassionately to address these tragedies.
Thankfully the good outweighed the bad and ugly this year. From a personal perspective, I welcomed a grandson into the world, made a positive career change, and am very excited to be living in the beautiful Channel Islands Harbor. From a Harbor Department perspective, while I have been here less than six months I have met most of the business owners in the Harbor, attended most of the events in the Harbor and the City of Oxnard, and met a good number of residents who are very passionate about the Harbor.
While it is not readily evident because development is unfortunately slow, we have pushed a number of projects along and will see the redevelopment start next year, including the Hyatt Hotel project at the Casa Sirena site, the rebuild of the Peninsula Yacht Marinas adjacent to the Hyatt Hotel, and the Fresca II Restaurant at the abandoned Whale’s Tail site. In addition, we have pushed operators in the Harbor to clean-up their leaseholds, including the replacement or removal of old signage and the repair of tired infrastructure. We will continue to aggressively address these issues.
While I want to stay positive as we head into the new year, we do have some financial challenges that we must face next year, due primarily to the open space maintenance we assumed from the City of Oxnard in mid-summer and a voter initiative which reduced funding for Harbor Patrol in the City’s area of the Harbor. I will discuss these issues in more detail in future communications.
As we charge into 2019, I want to wish all a very Happy New Year, and commit that the Harbor Department will continue to work diligently to improve the Channel Islands Harbor next year and every year after that.
As always, live every day to the fullest.
Mark Sandoval, Harbor Director
Editor’s Note: this message was published January 2, 2019.