The city of Naples has eliminated the job of dockmaster.
But city officials said Wednesday that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on the Naples City Dock.
Naples City Council on Wednesday discussed a reorganization effort at the City Dock. The effort will reclassify the position of waterfront operations manager – often referred to as dockmaster – and replace it with a code and harbor manager.
The city has already tapped code enforcement officer Roger Jacobsen to fill the role as code and harbor manager, according to a report to council by Assistant City Manager Roger Reinke.
Council did not need to take any action to implement the reorganization but must amend the fiscal 2010 budget to make sure positions are paid for with the proper funding source.
The majority of council members said they supported staff’s efforts, though one council member said she did not support the proposal.
“We’re setting ourselves up for failure,” said Councilwoman Teresa Heitmann.
Councilman Gary Price also was leery of the proposal, but said he was willing to give it a chance.
The code and harbor manager, according to Reinke’s report, will be responsible for managing all waterfront operations – like the Naples City Dock, waterway signs and submerged land leases – as well as the city’s code enforcement operations, beach patrol and parking enforcement.
“The position we’re looking at here is a management position,” Reinke said. “There will be people doing other things, (and) this is someone to manage those people.”
The code and harbor management division would encompass all of the employees at the City Dock — currently two full-time equivalent positions, the six beach specialists and the code enforcement department. That department currently has one code enforcement officer, Jacobsen, and an administrative specialist.
Naples City Manager Bill Moss said the city would fill the code enforcement officer position.
Under this new structure, the code and harbor manager would report to the city manager’s office, much like the city’s natural resource manager. The waterfront operations manager used to report to the community services director.
The new structure worried City Dock supporters who said that while they supported Jacobsen, they were not in favor of him overseeing both the dock and code enforcement.
“This will distract from turning the dock around,” said Naples resident Jim Boula.
Having someone managing all of those different operations isn’t the only thing distracting from the dock, though. Residents expressed concern about the fact that city officials planned to operate the dock with part-time employees seven days a week, rather than full-time employees.
The change will save the city about $12,000 in personnel costs, Reinke said in his report.
Moss said Wednesday that while no salary has been set yet, he imagined it would be in the $72,000 range. He also said he expects the operations to be moving in the proposed direction very shortly.
The reorganization comes two weeks after council members said they wanted to run the financially strapped City Dock for one more year to see if it turns around, before handing over operations to a private firm.
The city dock fund — an independent enterprise fund separate from the city’s general fund — is balanced in the fiscal 2010 budget, and was prepared based on the assumption city staff would still be in charge in the coming fiscal year.