Port of Brookings Harbor customers are accusing Commissioner Andy Martin of transfering boat slips without placing his name on a waiting list and of taking over a competitor’s slip after it was prematurely declared vacant.
The issues surfaced Tuesday at the port commissioners meeting when charter captain David Castellanos asked for confirmation the port had reinstated his contract for his slip.
In an earlier meeting, Castellanos said Martin took his slip after the port declared it vacated, but he had never received notice to renew his lease, nor had he been billed monthly after the lease end-date in accordance with port policy.
Board members and the staff assured Castellanos he had retained his slip.
According to port policy, before the slip was declared vacant, a renewal notice should have been sent to Castellanos and he should have been billed on a monthly and more expensive basis until he informed the board of his intent to retain or relinquish the slip.
However, Castellanos said he never received a renewal notice or a monthly bill. He said he heard from a friend Martin’s boat was in his slip.
The slip was returned to Castellanos under a new contract after he met with port staff.
When he asked the port for copies of the notice and monthly billing from the old contract, the port showed him a copy of the notice but no proof it was mailed, and the port had no record of monthly bills.
In a recorded meeting with Martin obtained by the Pilot, port staff member Travis Webster said staff never sent the monthly bills to Castellanos because Martin claimed the slip before a month had past.
In the recording, Martin asks Webster if Castellanos will be billed for the the three months since the lease expired.
“We didn’t even give him 30 days,” Webster replies.
Records show the lease expired Nov. 1, the notice is dated Nov. 8, and Martin moved into the slip Nov. 20.
Webster said Martin got the slip in error.
Martin said he acted only as a citizen and customer in the port office and had been watching the board for two slips to open next to each other because he has two boats.
The board is a pictograph of the port with slips and magnetic boats attached to indicate which slips are open.
Martin claims moving his boat to D dock opened a more desirable slip for the port to lease because it was longer and had electricity.
He said port staff informed him slip D10 had not renewed and, he said he wanted it, but chose to wait because he knew the slip was Castellanos’.
“I asked if notice was sent and was told ‘yes’ and there had been no response,” Martin said.
Martin later paid the annual rate and leased slips D10 and D7.
Martin said Webster misinterpreted port policy concerning a lease reverting to a month-to-month basis.
According to Martin, the payment rate changes to the higher monthly rate and the customer is billed on a monthly basis until they come in to renew or surrender the slip. The slip is open to transfers or new lessees after notice is sent.
Webster said, “We cannot take the slip until he comes in and tells us to terminate his lease.”
Port customer Doug Lewis said Martin should have had to wait for any slip until his name came up on a waiting list.
Lewis, who has been waiting for a slip since last May, said he called every month, May through December, and talked to port employees Danielle Shepard or Skylar Windham to confirm his position on the waiting list and to see if a slip had opened.
He said he was told none had.
“So today (Feb. 21), I went and demanded the list. But my name was not on the list,” Lewis said.
He claims the list he saw was not the original one.
Webster told the Pilot there was an unofficial list before the official list was put in place by board action Dec. 19, but no one knows where that list is.
Waiting lists supplied to the Pilot indicate there is a carryover list from the unofficial list as well as an official waiting list for slips and one for transfers.
The possible carryover list now includes Lewis, but there is no record of how this list was compiled, from what sources nor why Lewis was not included. Lewis’ name is handwritten at the bottom of the otherwise typed list.
Lewis characterized the multiple lists and the ability of someone to transfer without being on a list as “downright crooked.”
Martin’s name does not appear on any of the lists, and he said he was unaware of any list being used before Dec. 19.
When asked about an unofficial list used before Dec. 19, Commissioner Jan Barbas pointed the Pilot to a meeting packet from Nov. 21, 2017, where a moorage waitlist appears on page 119.
Lewis is number 13 on the list and Martin is number 20.
Martin said the list in the packet must have been, “an internal thing with port staff.”
He also said he was unaware he was on a list.
Webster said prior to Dec. 19, the port had no policy to prioritize the awarding of slips or transfers and port policy allows staff to move boats from slip to slip at its discretion.
Reach Boyd C. Allen at email@example.com .