Bar pilots to extend waterfront lease 

An understaffed California agency that oversees bar pilots working in the Bay plans to extend a waterfront office lease for three years with the Port of San Francisco.

The California Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun leases 2,770 square feet of office space and two parking spots at Pier 9, between Broadway and Green Street.

The 160-year old organization oversees 60 seasoned mariners, called bar pilots, who clamber on and off ships to direct them in and out of the Bay.

The board was supposed to have received additional resources in the wake of the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill, for which bar pilot John Cota was sentenced to 10 months in prison, but it currently employs just one full time staff member.

Career mariner Allen Garfinkle serves as executive director and is the sole employee of the board.

The board is looking to hire a staff services analyst, according to board President Michael Miller.

It is also waiting for the governor to appoint a deputy director, according to Miller.

Both positions are vacant due to recent resignations, Miller said.

A clerical support worker might also be hired if lawmakers approve an appropriation request in an upcoming state budget, according to Miller.

Port commissioners on Tuesday are scheduled to consider extending the board’s lease for three years at $7,612.50 per month.

The Port uses lease revenues to improve aging piers and other waterfront infrastructure.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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