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  Dana Point Boaters Association

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Monday, April 3 , 2017
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We saw this article in The Log on Saturday (click here) and thought we would it pass along, mostly because it appears to muddy the water a bit lacking the further clarification we are providing below.  Here goes...
As we discussed in more detail on many past occasions, most recently last week (click here), the County of Orange has chosen not to fund the redevelopment of Dana Point Harbor.  Instead The OC is in the process of selecting  a private company to rebuild the harbor and manage most all of it.  Click here to see a map of what is covered and what is not.  What does this mean?  Essentially, the control of our harbor is going to be outsourced for the next 50 years, via a new type of master leasehold arrangement known as a Private-Public-Partnership, aka "P3".  The selected P3 will invest heavily and then profit over a 50 year time frame.
The P3 concept has become extremely popular in government over the past several years.  Stories have even appeared on the TV network news recently.  The most obvious reason the P3 approach is now so popular is that many government agencies have decided to follow the successful lead of private industry in outsourcing those activates which are not "core business" to private-industry specialists.  Thereby, so goes the theory, they'll avoid both financial investment and associated risk.  Plus they don't have to manage anything beyond the P3 relationship itself.  We think this is a great theory too (we've had a fair of experience in private industry outsourcing ourselves) and in general your DPBA endorses this approach.  Especially because, after some 20 years of "study", The OC has refused to directly fund harbor redevelopment.  In other words, The OC has decided that this is the only way we'll get our docks replaced. 
So as in the movie, The Godfather, "it's a deal we can't refuse".  Is there a problem here?  Yes, perhaps.  As always, it's the details:  (1) The specifics of just how The OC intends to outsource Dana Point Harbor waterside and landside reconstruction - what will actually get built and when; (2) What's the proper framework for ongoing harbor management of landside and waterside operations - for example can the P3 charge whatever they want for slip rents? (3)  How best to contractually manage the billions of dollars this engagement represents, while assuring the needs of all Harbor stakeholders are fully addressed.  Yes, billions not millions of dollars is involved.  Remember, it's supposed to be a 50 year engagement. 
Beyond the money involved, Dana Point Harbor is both a precious recreational asset AND quite literally an irreplaceable recreational boating resource.  Plus we hasten to add this important point: Our harbor is actually owned by the citizens of the State of California, and only held in trust by The OC.  There are very specific uses which are clearly described by the legally binding Dana Point Tidelands Trust (click here).  Note that "private resort", "conference center", "shopping mall" and "super yacht port-of-call" are not on the list.   The point we're making is that the well-established legal requirements here run at odds with the time honored real estate developer mantra "develop to highest use possible in order to receive the maximum return possible". 
So yes, there is quite perplexing complexity in the details.  The good news is that The OC now openly acknowledges this and has taken careful steps so far to address within both the previously completed initial P3 Request For Qualifications (RFQ) process and the P3 Request For Proposal (RFP) process where the proposal evaluation phase starts later this month.  In addition, The OC has chosen is to also outsource to another specialist role, the entirely separate and distinct role of staying on the front lines, representing The OC's  interests in managing the P3 selection and ongoing engagement relationship.  That's the "Owners' Representative" role for which RFP respondent interviews are scheduled to be held on April 26th.  This is the critical role we have recently endorsed Project Dimensions Inc. to perform and it's also what The Log article was mainly about.  That's because the real owners of our harbor are us boaters (it's a place for boats right?) and we want the very best representation we can get. 
We should add that there is yet one more essential, formalized "Owner Representative" role necessary to make the P3 approach viable that's  been in the works since last June when we initially  proposed to 5th District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.  This role will represent the interests of the boaters, merchants and others who are stakeholders in our harbor.  We've been working closely with OC Parks and The 5th district Supervisor's office, as well as fellow harbor stakeholders to finalize policy and procedure.  We hope very soon to be able to announce specifics.
Please contact us if we can answer any questions by clicking here to submit them through our Boater Liaison Program.
For the Dana Point Boaters Association Board of Directors,
  Rodger Beard, President
Dana Point Boaters Association

Remember, to keep Dana Point Boaters voice strong, we need your support. 
Please know your Dana Point Boaters Association works tirelessly towards the advancement and protection of our precious Dana Point boating community.  As Revitalization decisions are now being made on the future of your harbor, do you want your comments and opinions heard?  Do you want a voice in the room to represent YOU?  If so, please help by making a donation to your Dana Point Boaters Association by clicking here!

At the Dana Point Boaters Association, our mission is to advocate for the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of affordable recreational boating.  We strive to improve the family-friendly atmosphere and breadth of water-oriented activities we all enjoy in our harbor.  As Dana Point boater advocates, our strength comes from your support and participation.  We are proud of the achievements we've made together on behalf of our boating community, and we won't give up.  But we can't do it without you.
Questions should be directed by email to ( Officers ).  Or call us at ( 949)  485-5656 and leave a voice mail and we'll get back to you soon.
Dana Point Boaters Association
P.O. Box 461
Dana Point, CA  92629
The Dana Point Boaters Association advocates the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of affordable recreational boating resources.  We work to improve the family friendly atmosphere and breadth of water-oriented actives we all enjoy in the harbor.  We serve as the watchdog by ethically protecting the rights of all boaters and representing them when collective action is most effective.  We actively gather information and communicate our views to educate boaters, external interests, and public officials.  We build and maintain constructive, working relationships to achieve common goals with other harbor stakeholders.  We will pass on our harbor to the next generation of recreational boaters in better condition than it is today.