MacMillan is Out as Greenwich Harbormaster; Governor Appoints Replacement

Ian MacMillan, Greenwich’s state appointed harbor master since 2011 has been replaced.

MacMillan’s term expired on June 30, and according to the minutes of the Harbor Management Committee’s June 17 meeting, he never submitted a resume to the harbor management commission for consideration for reappointment for another term. Nor had he attended a meeting since September 2019.

The harbormaster search committee, chaired by Bruce Angiolillo, included Bill Ingraham, Casey McKee, selectperson Jill Oberlander, and Mike Van Oss. On Jan 31, 2020 the committee posted a notice with a job description on the Town’s website calling for resumes. The posting remained active for four months. The commission also contacted local boat and yacht clubs in town to share the job posting. The committee interviewed four candidates and submitted a ranked slate of three names to Governor Ned Lamont.

Ian MacMillan served as Greenwich Harbormaster from 2011 to June 2020

The HMC recommended Sean Jordan as their preferred candidate. Mr. Jordan is an Operations Manager at Pacific Basin Shipping Limited, and graduated SUNY Maritime College in 2012. The other two ranked candidates were Michael Vanderbrug and John Davis.

On Wednesday, MacMillan received a letter dated July 21 from Governor Lamont thanking him for his years of service and to inform him that Mr. Jordan had been appointed as his successor.

“Since December 2011, you have served your community and the State of Connecticut diligently in managing and protecting the waters of Greenwich and Connecticut,” Lamont wrote. “Public service plays a vital role in our community and I appreciate all the time and effort you have dedicated to your responsibilities.”

On Wednesday MacMillan commented on the appointment.

“He’s got a full time job and doesn’t have time for this. He doesn’t have local knowledge,” he said.

The relationship between MacMillan and both the harbor management commission and town officials has been fraught for years, and the HMC members were open about wanting to replace him, but were precluded from doing so until their harbor management plan was completed and approved by the state. That took several years.

Now, with the plan approved, Governor Lamont had only the list of three HMC-nominated candidates to choose from.

Reached by phone Wednesday, MacMillan said he was not surprised to learn a successor had been appointed, given that the harbor management plan had finally been approved.

The Harbormaster position is unpaid, but for a stipend. “I got paid for this year on June 2 – the $525 stipend,” MacMillan said.

Asked why he hadn’t attended meetings, MacMillan acknowledged he had missed the past four or five meetings.

“They wouldn’t let me speak, so why should I go?” he said. “I had a lot to say and they weren’t letting me. One of the things they did back in January was assume I agreed with them when I didn’t…It’s hard to be part of a group when you know they’re doing things wrong. For instance, once you have a harbor management plan, the fees are supposed to go to the harbor master who puts them in a separate account from the town. They’ve been commingling mooring fees with the town fees (marine facility use permits).”

MacMillan said the mooring fees were supposed to be used exclusively for harbor improvements. “I don’t think they did one harbor improvement,” he said.

The commission’s harbor master liaison report in May described the harbormaster vessel as “in constant need of repairs,” and that their liaison would ensure the repairs “happen as quickly as possible due to the boating season being at a high point.”

“They said the boat was unseaworthy, so I haven’t been able to use it,” MacMillan said on Wednesday, adding that the commission pulled the boat out of the water a year ago.

“I would have repaired the boat myself if they’d let me,” he said. “They pulled the boat out of the water and haven’t been able to do my job. It hasn’t been seaworthy for over a year. Since last summer I’ve been asking them to replace battery and bilge pump. We took the boat out of the water and found the leak and it was a small amount, but enough to fill over night. That caused the bilge pumps to switch on and that wore out the battery. That problem was last summer and they never fixed it.”