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Letter to the Editor: Finding common ground on Port of Newport fees and other charges

The views and opinions of submitters to “Letters to the Editor” do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NewsLincolnCounty.com, its staff or advertisers. The positions taken in the following letter are strictly those of the submitter.
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The conflict about fees between the operators of fishing boats and the Newport Port Commission might be resolved by thinking beyond how much the Commission wants and how much operators are willing to pay.

Having engaged in many mediations, from that perspective I suggest both sides put aside the numbers temporarily and discuss why they have taken the positions that create this adversarial situation. In other words, what needs lie behind the demands?

Once they have defined what each needs, the options for satisfying those needs might well lead to mutual agreement.

Just one possibility would be for the fishing boat operators to form an organization to lease the fishing moorage from the Port Commission and operate and maintain that moorage under Commission standards. The Commission, after all, has in its by-laws the power to buy, sell, and lease property.

That’s just one possibility. A good faith exploration of needs and ways to satisfy those needs might lead to other win-win ideas.

Wallace Kaufman

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