Boycott threat doesn’t dim California boat parade

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Organizers of the Newport Beach (Calif.) Christmas Boat Parade sent a message to residents planning a boycott of the 104-year-old event: Protest the protest.

More than 90 boats signed up this year to make the nearly 14-mile run through Newport Harbor. The Balboa Bay Club and Resort was brimming with activity during the parade’s opening night Wednesday, and according to one official’s estimate, a “jillion” homeowners will decorate their abodes with lights, according to the Daily Pilot.

“There’s a great buzz,” David Beek, chairman of the Christmas Boat Parade, told the newspaper. “If anything, the boycott news brought attention to the event.”

Beek referred to some harbor stakeholders who, in protest of a fee increase for residential docks that go over public tidelands, have grouped together to form the “Stop the Dock Tax” coalition. Their chairman, Bob McCaffrey, said Wednesday that it’s hard to say whether their efforts have had an effect.

“I’m tired of the government in my pants, in my pocket, in my life,” he told the paper.

In a commentary to the Daily Pilot, McCaffrey wrote that residents like him “joyfully spend thousands of dollars to decorate our homes and boats for more than 1 million visitors to enjoy. … We are not the council’s piggy bank.

“Millions of dollars will be made during this year’s Christmas Boat Parade, none of it by us. Our generosity allows others to profit.”

The event, which is themed “Surf, Sand and Santa” this year, runs through Dec. 23.

Click here for the full report.


3 comments on “Boycott threat doesn’t dim California boat parade

  1. John Anderson

    Mr McCaffrey is doing his kind a great disservice by griping about the SMALL fee (like $25/year) for the dock behind his multi-million dollar waterfront home in elite Newport Beach. A dock floating over PUBLIC land, BTW. No wonder there is such a ground swell of backlash going on in Washington. I have a waterfront dock…and I’m happy to pay such a token fee. I also paid the unpopular “big boat” fee that we all faced a couple of decades ago…remember that? And that was like $200. I hope McCaffrey stirs up the public beehive and it WILL NOT be to his advantage.

  2. John Anderson

    Sorry, I was in error on my post above. When I first read about this situation in an earlier article, I recalled that the fee increase was only $25.
    I searched for that original article but cannot find it. Apparently, the fee increase is MUCH larger.

  3. Tom Smith

    The fee can be more than $3,000+ plus per dock. Not $25.

    The purpose of the boycott originated because the City was trying to ram their agenda thru over the Thanksgiving weekend without giving the homeowners/public a proper forum and the time to discuss the details of the proposed tax increase.

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