Christon Skinner removed from Oak Harbor Marina Advisory Board

After the city council refused to change the makeup of the Marina Advisory board at the insistence of the Chair of the Marina Advisory Board Christon Skinner the Mayor removed Christon Skinner from the board.

The Mayor wanted to expand the board by 2 members and allow 2 non marina user onto the board and to include a live aboard from the marina on the committee. This was fought by the chair who wanted to keep the status quo on the board.

This is a good move for Oak Harbor, the marina belongs to all of the citizens of Oak Harbor not just the users of the marina. By having a couple of members on the board that are not marina users is an attempt to get the marina more integrated with the citizens and working with the city and it’s residents and to encourage activities that help Oak Harbor and not just the Marina and it’s users.

The Oak Harbor marina has relied on Race Week as it sole contribution to the city and we need to have a marina that works with and for the city and not only for the benefit of boaters in our community. We can look no further than Anacortes and La Conner to see how their marina has benefitted those cities greatly with increased tourism and income for the city. Currently boaters largely avoid the Oak Harbor marina and pass right down Saratoga Passage to La Conner and Anacortes so we get very little increase in tourism from the boating world to our city except for race week.

Christon Skinner commented in the Whidbey News Times “Our concern is, if we add two more members for no compelling reason, it’s just going to take us longer to do what we already think we’re doing very efficiently,”

The “compelling reason” is to have non marina users have an input in the Marina to benefit our city, after all the Marina belongs to all residents of the city and not just a select few.

I did talk to Mayor Dudley this AM and his simple explanation was “I thought it would be wise to get two new sets of eyes and two new perspectives, whether that be non-marina individuals or someone representing live-a-boards.” Obviously that concept did not fly with those in our city that are not looking for different perspectives to improve what we have.


  1. Nice to hear the change and nice to Chris Skinner removed as a member of the Marina Cmtg. Now maybe we can get some new folks on the cmtg that will make suggestions for the good of the city and our citizens.

    1. We do need to give credit where credit is due. Under Christon Skinners leadership the Marina was self sufficient and took no taxpayer dollars to keep afloat and this needs to be recognized.

      It is too bad he has placed himself between the Council, the Mayor, the Marina Committee and the people. I thought it was a good idea to have a better mix of people on the Marina Committee and get a few other voices into the discussion but politics played a large part in this decision. Mr. Skinner is obviously a part of the obstruction that goes on in our city and against the new Mayor so it was probably a good idea to relieve him of his duties as Chair of the committee. We need people in this city that will work with our mayor and not against him. The mayor was after all elected by the people to enact a few changes in our city and that is what Mayor Dudley has done, by placing yourself in opposition to the mayor is not good for the citizens of the city and detrimental to the progress and improvements that we so sorely need.

  2. Chris Skinner is a good man. I’ve known him for 20 years and I KNOW his heart is in the right place. I KNOW he’s competent. The downside of Skinner? He supported Slowick, Hizon, et al, and that’s where he and I had a significant difference of opinion.

    But we could do MUCH worse in leadership within the community. And we HAVE done much worse … some people have short memories, I suppose.

  3. I do know that he did a good job as chair of the Marina committee, it is a credit to him and the rest of the committee that the Marina is self sufficient. Not all waterfront communities have a self sufficient Marina. It does beg the question though as to why he supports the politicians that he does. Certainly poor choices have been made in the past and present and he has been supportive of those poor choices. It does make one wonder…

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