Editorial: Milestone at Maylor Point

The opening of Maylor Point to the public by way of a trail is a milestone in improved relations between the U.S. Navy and the people of Oak Harbor.

The city council approved a two-year agreement with the Navy last week, allowing the public to walk, run or jog along a trail to Maylor Point, which for many years the public could see but not reach without going through the guarded entrance to the Seaplane Base.

As residents know, guards were quietly removed from the Seaplane Base gate earlier this year, giving people unfettered access to Crescent Harbor and popular Navy attractions like the commissary and exchange.

Soon, access to the Maylor Point peninsula can be gained through a gate just past the city marina that will no longer be labeled “Government property, no trespassing.” The access won’t be wide enough for vehicles, but that’s OK. All the city wanted was to extend its beach trail to Maylor Point, the small peninsula that has great historic, scenic and recreational value for the area.

City officials gave well-deserved credit to Rear Admiral James A. Symonds, commander, Navy Region Northwest, and Capt. Gerral David, commander, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Navy officials are busy enough defending America and running their respective areas of responsibility, they don’t really need to take the time to make things better for the civilian population. But they’re helping Oak Harbor make life better for its citizens, and for this they deserve the public’s appreciation.

At last week’s meeting, Councilman Jim Palmer pointed out the importance of the Maylor Point access, saying it’s been talked about for the 30 years he has lived here. “To see this all come to be is a fantastic event,” he said.

This is a two-year access agreement, so we can assume the Navy will watch closely to see how it works. The public can help immensely by being respectful of Navy property, so that in two years the agreement is renewed.

We wouldn’t want to lose something that took so long to make happen.

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