Monterey >> Harbormaster Steve Scheiblauer’s days walking the docks down at the waterfront are numbered.
That’s because after 21 years, Scheiblauer is retiring. His last day will be Feb. 21.
“I’ve been doing this for 41 years – I’ll be 68 by the time I retire,” said Scheiblauer. “I’m ready to do some other things – travel a bit, do a little bit of writing.”
Scheiblauer has been serving in the role since January 1995 when then-City Manager Fred Meurer brought him on board.
That was after Scheiblauer worked as Santa Cruz’s harbormaster for some 20 years, from 1975 to 1995.
Since that time, he’s seen the city’s marina replaced and took a central role in nurturing Monterey’s commercial fisheries.
“We had to get money, permits and the design together to replace it,” said Scheiblauer, about the rebuilding of the old marina back in 1995 soon after he became harbormaster. “It was one of the largest capital projects that the city has ever done.”
Meurer remembers it well.
“There was continual arguing over the slips in the marina and a waiting list 100 years long,” said Meurer. “Steve brought order to it all in a very calm way and did a great job managing the total refurbishment of the marina with little impact on the users.”
Scheiblauer said it’s the development of good relationships that’s key to getting things done with the boating community.
“A lot of changes were needed at the city’s waterfront and I’ve had the support for that and couldn’t have done it without the city council and city management both past and present,” he said.
But in doing so, Monterey Community Services Director Kim Bui-Burton said he’s represented the city and its marine and ocean life interests to a very high standard.
“He’s succeeded in managing a lot of the harbor operations and really responding to the boating community,” said Bui-Burton.
While Scheiblauer said he’s especially proud of that constructive relationship that Monterey has with its commercial fishermen and sailors, Bui-Burton also noted his role in developing the city’s Fishing Community Sustainability Plan.
“It’s really the blueprint for retaining our community’s fishing heritage and making it viable into the 21st century,” said Bui-Burton.
While Scheiblauer works to finish the current project of replacing the wooden parking deck down at Wharf 1, he said once he’s retired he’ll be forming his own consultant business. Marine Alliances Consulting will specialize in harbor management, fisheries, economics and ocean environmental issues.
“I wanted to make use of some of the things I’ve learned over the years,” he said.
Meurer said it’s Scheiblauer’s knowledge and people skills that will leave a huge void in the city’s organization once he’s done.
“He’s a huge advocate for the protection of the marine environment while protecting the fishing heritage of the port of Monterey.” said Meurer. “He knew the rules of the sanctuary and the coastal act and he used his knowledge of rules and regulations to do his best for the city of Monterey and the Monterey harbor. He’s the epitome of what a public servant should be.”