In a rare display of common sense, our Selectmen have declared that the question whether to rebuild the pier at the end of Steamboat Road and whether to accede to Indian Harbor members' demand that fishermen be barred from using it are separate; first decide whether to rebuild, then address those pesky piscatorial warriors.
The proposed 2017-18 municipal budget includes $600,000 to repair the landing, which is in poor condition with part cordoned off and posted “keep off railing.”
But at the time of the BET committee debate, the item drew criticism from some residents who said the pier attracts fishermen and poses a hazard and potential town liability.
Former 149th District state representative Janet Lockton was one of the more vocal critics, saying she wanted work on the pier deferred because repairs would encourage heavier use by fisherman whose lures and hooks strike people on boats at the nearby Indian Harbor Boat Club.
Several other critics, some of whom identified themselves as members of the Yacht Club, agreed the fishermen pose a risk and leave the area messy when they clean fish on the landing.
Greenwich Police said they had been called in the past about discarded garbage on the pier, but neither they nor Greenwich Emergency Services had a record of complaints of anyone struck by a lure or hook in recent memory.
First Selectman Peter Tesei said police reported no major incidents at the landing in the past several years. On Friday, town Parks and Recreation Director Joseph Siciliano said he had also checked with the GPD and GEMS as well as his own memory and that the problem was not as big as was being claimed.
“It’s not like it’s a hot spot for a lot of incidents,” Siciliano said.
I've fished the place occasionally over the years and encountered no difficulties with flying hooks, disruptive fishermen or lures striking the Indian Harbor yachts moored hundreds of yards away. While I wouldn't ever suggest that the real objection of the club members is the presence, just on the other side of the club's hedge and gate, of Hispanics and blacks, many of whom are dressed as though they're taking a break from that same club's kitchen, others might think so. Greenwich is already exclusive enough without taking away one of the few places allowing public access to the Sound for salt water fishermen.