After having read the piece published by ImperiaPost on the request of discussion about Assonautica Imperia and Vele d’Epoca during the next City Council raised by Councilman Mr Casano, I took the opportunity to write and publish a letter to explain my standpoint around this matter, because I’m feeling the issue is not clear enough and every discussions or talks I’m hearing are reductive.
The letter has been addressed to the Mayor and City Board, the City Council, the Chairman of the Imperia Chamber of Commerce, the Assonautica Board, the Chief of Coast Guard of Imperia and the local news editors.
The title is a wordplay about sailing (Vela in Italian), inspired by my friend Gianluca during a chat around this difficult situation, trying to recall the latinian TV series with 5000 episode and never ending stories, called telenovelas: ImperiaNoVela.
Here below the text of the letter.
Per la versione in Italiano clicca QUI
Dear Madams, dear Sirs,
following what published on local webnews on the request raised by Mr Casano (thank you Mr Casano for your interest) to talk about Assonautica Imperia and Vele D’Epoca during the next City Council session, I’m sending you this letter as Citizen of Imperia, professional in the Marine industry, Sea passionate and last but not least Board member of Assonautica Imperia, to clarify my standpoint on the complicate situation of Assonautica Imperia, situation explained in several circumstances and places but still confused.
Assonautica Imperia is a very important and interesting resource into our Community, this is why I need to express my point of view, in order to clarify as much as possible the sad situation composed by many different implications, touching everybody, also who thinks is not involved.
Unfortunately, although (and finally) some attention has been expressed, I observed that also this time the only topic highlighted was the Vele d’Epoca, important matter for sure, but as already explained in many circumstances, are not only the Vele d’Epoca involved in this issue.
Circumscribe the discussion to Vele d’Epoca only in the eventuality of City Council session will be even more reductive, looking at the big picture of the opportunity missed and wasted.
I embraced with enthusiasm the invitation to join the Team of Assonautica Imperia because I saw a huge potential and I got the impression that the ground was fruitful to give a quality boost to the marine and nautical development in our zones. I’m into the Nautical world for 30 years now (participating already in the Board of Assonautica and some Sailing Club in the past) and Sailing is my passion and Sailing Industry my job; so I’m not new to these kind of experiences, but this time I really felt something more: a real group, with the right mix, rich in knowledge, competences, dedication, in other words a very special powerful Team.
In a period when Nautical and Marine activities are in deep crisis everywhere, and in our Town too, becasue of incompetencies, wrong decisions and missed opportunities, making available work, ideas and projects of a so strong Team was seeming something to be pounced on. The mandate of Assonautica Imperia Board proposed to association’s Members when elected was certainly ambitious and challenging but very clear: the Mission was to be the fly-wheel of development, improvement, spreading and support of nautical and marine activities in the Province, building the necessary facilities, without duplicating what already existing. We have driven this mandate proposing an idea and the relevant project that, placing the Vele d’Epoca among many other opportunities to work on, stretched from the marine Culture, to the sport and management of sport and turistic events, pull alongside the Vele d’Epoca other new high-level events to create appeal and revenue not only every other year but with more frequency. We were not asking anything in return for it, just the right spaces needed for above activities and to manage some moorings to support Assonautica and re-invest all revenues into new facilities, premises and activities. We didn’t ask for money or public contributions, just the opportunity to access to manage the docks of Calata Anselmi (through the available legal-administrative ways and solutions), the historic location of Vele d’Epoca, a minimal requirement compared to the return generated for our Community. We just asked to make Assonautica Imperia independent, to weigh less and less on the public contribution and to be at entire service of the Community at a cost close to zero for it. I would also highlight new spaces and facilities would have been openly available for all Associations operating in the field, because our idea/project was not considering to substitute to them, but give them an outlet for their potential.
The lack of will
Also if the (very few) answers we received (often disguised by strategic silences) are all about bureaucracy or the legal-administrative juncture of the Marina of Porto Maurizio, is cristal-obvious that the stop to this project came from a lack of will or from a different will, (depending of the point of view) becasue solutions and positive situations to discuss the problem and find the key were available, and are available. Bureaucracy is an easy shield to avoid discussion and bounce back problems.
Direct lack of will by City Board that clearly didn’t aim to embrace this idea/project.
Indirect lack of will by Chamber of Commerce that would have helped and supported more Assonautica Imperia through these steps.
In this context we have got only the attention and support of Coast Guard of Imperia that, among their competencies and jurisdiction, they have been always open and available to look for necessary solutions.
The unsatisfactory answers
As said above, hidden behind the excuse of bureaucracy, the Mayor (also appointed to Port management), also if initially gave precise addresses on where develop our project, suddenly changed route without offering alternatives, de facto blocking any progress. Changing mind is ok, of course, but the way has been done and the following closure to further discussion is at least inexplicable.
The City Board, although some Members were aware of the situation, they never openly express enough attention and they never approach the problem inside the Board to stimulate productive discussions.
The City Council, also I presume they are all aware of it, considering since last December the local news talks about it, expressed little interet just in very few occasion until today with Mr. Casano letter, the very first time someone raise an hand.
The Chamber of Commerce just hold on waiting without any interaction.
The set of problems here have been always reducted to the Vele d’Epoca matter, an important one for sure, but not the main one. The Assonautica Team was called to work on much more wide Mission, that beyond the Vele d’Epoca, was envisaging the improvement of activities around Sailing, Windsurfing and Surfing (school, leisure, recreational, sports, sports events, packages for Teams and groups), reintroduces disappeared activities as Rowing and Kayaking (both at sport and recreational levels), top-level events organization similar to Vele d’Epoca, sinergies with the Naval Museum, the Nautical High School “Andrea Doria”, the shipyards, looking to develop tourism and to recover the historical marine culture and traditions, creating also new and bigger job opportunities. Too bad, everything has been reduced to talks only around the Vele d’Epoca, an easy thing to solve if approached in time with the necessary knowledge.
The lack of Vision
While the Assonautica Team is having a clear and firm Vision and Mission to achieve, outside there isn’t any wide, shared and sharp Vision of where they want to go, and this creates a huge difficulty to engage with the Institutional side about the project we were working on. Unfortunately every situation is treated as an isolate one and so there is no way to have proactive, dynamic talks and discussion starting from an idea and arriving to a result. A small but serious example is when Assonautica had been forced to dismantle all the structures built for IWR2014, wasting a remarkable investment instead making it fruitful for the Community.
The missed opportunity
As Member of Assonautica Board and Imperia Citizen I found extremely negative the address of closure and stop of this project because it was a great opportunity for the whole Community. Great opportunity because against an investment in spaces and a “change of management” of some berths (on the other hand not particularly profitable now) the Community would have got back a lot in terms of revenues, collateral activities and the image of the City and the Marina. All this without using public money but using private investments: just to highlight at today Assonautica Imperia is already living with the 80% of her resources coming from private sectors.
All above grew in me a wide sense of frustration, seeing the huge (and I want to underline huge) investment done, investment of intellectual work, brain power, time and personal sacrifice, all energies that didn’t bring a result.
Resuming, these above are the reasons of the problem around Assonautica Imperia, to clarify the missed opportunity came only from the indifference and the lack of interest that surrounded, and still surround, ourselves. This indifference, with some presumption of people that needs help but refuses it, is also going very close to be lack of respect and consideration to other people’s work, knowledge, time and life.
My contribution is stimulated by a strong civic-mindedness and the will of help in revamp and cheer up a Community these days in a critical and difficult situation, but this Institutional deafness today is not allowing me to continue wasting my Time, that is the only treasure I have available.
Imperia – July 27th, 2015