Yacht club: Homework neglected by councilman
July 3, 2008 · Updated 9:59 PM
Councilman Larry Eaton should do his homework before making irresponsible statements to the press regarding the Oak Harbor Yacht Club.
Mr. Eaton states the Yacht Club "has all the trappings of a private club." Well guess what? It is a private club, operating under the guidelines of a private club, with a class H private liquor license. In other words, the club is not allowed to open its membership to the general public and keep its license, period.
The Yacht Club was never intended as a community center. It was built and paid for by members, not out of public funds. Members also pay taxes and rent for the facility, and maintain it in good order.
But neither is the club elitist, as is sometimes alleged. Its roster includes people from all walks of life, and many are far from wealthy. Memberships are currently available, in fact, at surprisingly reasonable rates. Anyone interested could apply and find out just how inclusive the club really is.
Before the city council meeting, Mr. Eaton received a package with the club's annual report and a list of powerful reasons why the club is an asset to the community. Perhaps he didn't read the materials. Or maybe he didn't realize that land leases where the tenant builds and maintains a facility commonly extend for 20 years. That's the only logical explanations for him being the sole vote against reaffirming the club's lease.
But it didn't matter. The city didn't have the authority to deny the lease anyway, despite Mr. Eaton's misinformation.
Oak Harbor Yacht Club