Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Yacht club critic ill informed

I read in the Feb. 7 edition of the News-Times that Councilman Eaton said that the Oak Harbor Yacht Club had "all the trappings of a private club." It is my understanding that Mr Eaton was previously employed as a school teacher in this fair city. As such, one would think that he would be intimately familiar with the wise old adage, "Don't come to class without having done your homework."

If Mr. Eaton had done his homework, he would have learned that the OHYC is incorporated in the State of Washington as a not-for- profit corporation, created expressly to function as a private club. Further, it holds business and liquor licenses as a private club, and carefully maintains that status and follows the rules for licenses of such type very carefully.

The incorporation of the OHYC was accomplished many, many years before the original lease for the land at the marina was executed in the early 80's, and until that time, the members met in a variety of locations, such as the Odd Fellows Hall. Upon the signing of the original lease, the OHYC built, at its members' expense (and only their expense), the building that now occupies the site.

However, in keeping with the agreements in its lease with the city, the OHYC makes its excellent ballroom available for rental to the public at a most reasonable rate. This is done as a service to the community. The annual Kids' Fishing Derby and support for Race Week are other examples of the club's service to the community. While I can only attest to the four years that I served on the Board of the OHYC, the Commodore submits a written annual report to the Oak Harbor City Council detailing its activities and services to the community, exactly as agreed in the lease. As Commodore, my signature was on the year 2000 report.

I usually just sit back and laugh at the antics of selected members of the Oak Harbor City Council, while admiring the restraint shown by Mayor Cohen in chairing their meetings. Mr. Eaton's "trappings" comment was just so far off the wall, I simply could not let it pass without comment. I am not sure of what he was trying to communicate, but it had "all the trappings" of an ill-informed and puerile grandstand play.

Al Fragola

Past Commodore, OHYC

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