Full speed ahead

Published 2:54 am Sunday, October 5, 2008

By Staff
When it comes to government working on something, it is a good bet that something will take some time to come to fruition. Many times that something is a project or plan that needs to be started as soon as possible.
So when the City of Washington’s Harbor Committee presented its progress report to the City Council last week, that was evidence that committee members are not letting moss grow under their feet. Charged with making recommendations to the council on how to best implement a proposed harbor-management plan, the committee took little time in developing its first list of recommendations.
The proposed plan was accepted by the council in July. The panel’s advisory role includes suggesting ways the city can implement the plan, at least parts of it, in a responsible and orderly way. The plan was developed by a group of approximately 50 people and organizations.
During the council’s meeting last week, David Emmerling, a committee member and executive director of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, unveiled a list of initial priorities for further study and clarification by the committee. Emmerling told the council the priorities were established through a rating process that weighed importance and order of implementation.
The development of the list of priorities is impressive work by the committee. But even more impressive is what’s happening with those priorities.
It is apparent the committee has wasted no time in doing its job since receiving its instructions in July.
The eight priorities selected by the committee indicates committee members have and are giving serious consideration to the proposed harbor-management plan. The priorities under review are:
The council should be as swift in considering the committee’s recommendations as the committee was in developing those recommendations. For the council to drag its feet when it comes to acting on the recommendations, that would be an insult to the committee that is working hard to fine tune a plan the city sorely needs as it strives to protect its harbor, one of its finest assets.
Several people who support the proposed plan said they view the city’s harbor as an economic engine to help drive the city toward prosperity and the plan as a way for the city to reclaim its heritage as a maritime hub in the Inner Banks. They are right.
Ross Hamory, president of Downtown Washington on the Waterfront, summed it up quite nicely in July when he spoke in favor of the plan.
Kudos to the Harbor Committee for working to make sure that harbor will provide a safe haven for that goose.