The Humboldt Bay Harbor District’s Executive Director Jack Crider announced that he’ll be leaving his post in October for a job in New Mexico.
At the end of his current contract, Crider is bailing on the Harbor and moving full-time to New Mexico, where he was allowed to phone it in for his position over at least the last year. This would be good news for the Harbor District, except that he’s not actually leaving.
Per a Times-Standard article from last week, Crider will continue his work for the Harbor District as an outside consultant through the foreseeable future.
Don’t be fooled by the positive spin that the Harbor Commissioners put on Crider’s time as the Executive Director. All three sitting commissioners that were with the District when Crider was hired sung his praises to the Times Standard, and well they should. Crider was instrumental in quite a few decisions that aligned with the Commissioners’ interests – and pushed the Harbor further towards the brink of disaster at the same time.
Greg Dale, who helped bring Crider in, had this to say:
““I think we’re lucky to have had him as long as we did. I’m grateful for everything he did. I think we have come a long way in the harbor district. A lot of things on our plate. I think the future looks good, largely in thanks to Jack.”
Dale should be very pleased, considering that the company he’s in charge of – Pacific Choice Seafoods – got a really sweet deal from the Harbor District for their oyster farming operations. But Dale seems to have forgotten that what’s good for Pacific Choice Seafoods isn’t necessarily good for the harbor.
Take stock of Crider’s allegedly visionary projects for the Harbor Districts. We have the complete snafu that is the lack of dredging in Humboldt Bay (which still isn’t completed, and is costing boatloads of cash), which stemmed directly from the Harbor District’s decision to buy a million dollar dredge that just can’t dredge, both because it’s a piece of crap and because laws that the Harbor were totally aware of forbid it’s use.
And oh yeah, we’ve also got the time when Crider blatantly went against County law by leasing space owned by the Harbor District to businesses that just shouldn’t be there.
Commissioner Richard Marks said of Crider that: “There are other people who would say, ‘We lost’ and turn around and walk away. Jack does not accept defeat. … He’s a problem solver. He finds solutions.”
When your Executive Director’s response to regulatory hurdles is to break the law, is this something we should really be celebrating? Counting only the three things THC touched on, Crider was complicit in a potentially major conflict of interest, failure to uphold the District’s duty to maintain the bay, and law-breaking. All of that on top of gross financial mismanagement.
And now, after he’s finally leaving the harbor in desperate straits, our Harbor Commissioners’ response is to keep paying him more as a consultant so he can continue to screw us all over? Sweet deal for Crider, we guess.
Too bad our harbor, and our Harbor District, are still screwed.