By Dec. 1, Bristol will have a new harbormaster.
In a letter to Bristol Town Council Chairman Kenneth Marshall, Harbormaster Joseph Cabral submitted his resignation, “with regret,” from a post he has held for decades.
“After 40 years of service to the town which I love so dearly, I feel that it is time to move on as I approach my retirement years,” Mr. Cabral wrote in his letter.
The council expressed gratitude for Mr. Cabral’s service to the community, with Councilor Halsey Herreshoff suggesting they prepare a proclamation to recognize his years of service. That suggestion prompted an outburst from one town resident who is dissatisfied with the lack of response from that office.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Michael Marshall shouted from the audience.
Mr. Marshall claims that the Bristol harbormaster’s department failure to respond to his recent kayaking accident on the Warren River is a testimony to Mr. Cabral’s lack of service.
He further alleged that Mr. Cabral was indifferent to learning about the circumstances surrounding it.
Two of three letters that Mr. Marshall submitted to the council were also read into the record. In them, Mr. Marshall questioned the function and fiscal responsibility of the harbormaster department.
In accepting the resignation, which will be effective Dec. 1, Council Vice Chairman David Barboza said that finding a replacement should be placed on the “fast track.” He said the council will “act on this by the meeting of Nov. 14.”
It was also suggested that the transition presents an opportunity to research the protocol of how the duties of the harbormaster are handled. Under the town’s hierarchy, the harbormaster reports directly to the town administrator.