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Ventura Harbor Harbormaster Scott Miller Retires after 35 Years

Much has changed in the Ventura Port District since Scott Miller left his job as a lifeguard in Long Beach to join the Ventura Harbor Patrol in 1980. Ventura Harbor Village was still in the development stage and a tiny wooden house served as headquarters for the Channel Islands National Monument.

Today, Ventura Harbor Village is a popular tourist destination with shops, galleries, restaurants and waterfront activities including harbor tours plus boat, kayak and paddle boat rentals. The Channel Islands National Monument is now the Channel Islands National Park, and its Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center features a display of marine aquatic life and exhibits showcasing the unique character of each park island. The center welcomes about 200,000 visitors each year.

Miller retires as harbormaster on April 25, two days after his 63rd birthday. Miller, who became harbormaster in 2000, is proud of the Ventura Port District’s growth and achievements under his watch. He is looking forward to his new career as a self-employed workplace investigator but will miss working at the Ventura Port District. Miller’s main job was supervising the Ventura Harbor Patrol, which provides 24-hour law enforcement, rescue and emergency services in the district.

“I’ve been blessed with great officers to work with over the years,” Miller said. “They’re unique in that they want to be Harbor Patrol officers – not firefighters, not police officers but Harbor Patrol officers.”

Miller has worn many hats for the Port District in his 35-year career: He helped create the curriculum for the Department of Boating and Waterways “Masters Certificate of Achievement,” which significantly enhanced training for Boating Safety Officers in smaller agencies. Miller helped design and maintain the Ventura Port District’s first website, he took over Human Resource functions and helped with the professional development of the district’s 44-member staff. Miller is most proud of establishing and continuing the Harbor Patrol’s mission, “Committed to providing a safe harbor environment for the pubic through education, enforcement and service.” He also served as an ambassador for the Port District by meeting regularly with marina managers, tenants, other agencies, and he frequently engaged in impromptu conversations with visitors.

A Google search of “G. Scott Miller Harbor Master” still leads one to a Sailor’s Choice article that states, “The Ventura Port District is headed by ‘Harbor Master’ G. Scott Miller, a very nice guy, who along with his entire staff, go out of their way to help you out.”

Miller was active in two statewide organizations, serving on the board of directors for many years, including a year as president, for both the California Boating Safety Officers Association and the California Public Employers Labor Relations Association. Miller also was California Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2003, which recognized his professional involvement both in CBSOA and as an instructor for “Basic Boating Enforcement Course” for the Department of Boating and Waterways.

Miller’s parting words are: “I have always enjoyed that the Ventura Port District is run as closely to a private enterprise as a government agency can be. We realize that the district’s success is dependent on our lessees’ successes. I also really appreciate that the district has supported my desire to grow, learn and to be involved in my profession and the community.”

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