Commissioners Holding an Emergency Public Hearing on Pilots Request for Fee Increase

Susan Klopp, Captain Mark Klopp, President of the Pilots Organization, and Their Attorney Twain Braden, Esq. at a Meeting Held on March 26, 2019,

The Board of Harbor Commissioners is holding an “Emergency” public hearing tomorrow, Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm, at the Harbor Master’s Office at the Marine Trade Center, Suite 105, Portland. Public testimony will be taken at the meeting tomorrow afternoon.

Chair of the Commission, Thomas Dobbins.

Portland Pilot’s request for an emergency increase in the minimum fee that may be charged by the Pilots to vessels requiring pilot services in Portland is the subject of the meeting. An increase in the fee was originally requested in writing on February 28, 2019, but did not include any official documents to support the Pilots claim of their dire situation. Susan Klopp and Captain Klopp both tried to convince the Board verbally of their dire situation. However, recently burned by the lawsuit they lost because the Board did not delve sufficiently into the economics of the Pirates, it appears committed to doing it “by the book.” The Pirates are a monopoly in Portland Harbor – it’s a utility – because it is mandated by the state to perform this service. Therefore, its economics need to be transparent, although they haven’t been previously.

One requirement of an increased fee request is that the Pilots make the important case to the Board that the failure of receiving such an increase would be detrimental to the public safety and the public’s health. If the Board adopts the increase, it must notify both the City of Portland and the City of South Portland before becoming effective. These and other conditions are ones that the Board of Harbor Commissioners has not adhered to in the past. It’s some of what got them into hot water legally as well.

note: I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. I wish the “Portland Press Herald” had written about this 2 year old litigation rather than ignoring it and written less about Susan Collins (D) and promoting her for her election next year. I have truly not met one woman who supports her re-election after her support of Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, her support of the Trump Tax Plan, and other betrayals to her Maine constituents. Mainers have good memories!

Please stop trying to ram Collins down our throats!

Please see a post herein dated March 26, 2019 for more background on the subject.