By Mary-Justine Lanyon
Mike Pate, the newly hired general manager of the Arrowhead Lake Association, was warmly welcomed by the directors and members at the Oct. 28 meeting.
“We went through an extensive search,” said Alan Kaitz, who has served as treasurer of ALA for the past five years and was elected president for the coming year at the Saturday meeting. “We had almost 300 candidates apply for the position. I think we made an excellent choice. I think he will serve you, the members, extremely well.”
Pate thanked the association for the honor of serving as their general manager. “We have a good team, a good staff,” he said. “There are large challenges ahead. I think we can improve our efficiencies. I see a lot of deferred maintenance.
“I’m excited to serve here. Looking at the mission statement, I see my call is to do what is best for the lake and the members. I’ve lived here 23 years and have enjoyed Lake Arrowhead.” He added he will do everything possible to “preserve, protect and promote it.”
Rick Reisenhofer, the Lake Safety supervisor, gave a comprehensive update on lake safety. His goal, he said, was to explain to the members what Lake Safety does.
He gave details on the lake safety patrol, the shore patrol, the launch ramp and gas dock, the decontamination service ALA offers and the newly formed auxiliary.
As more and more boats get swamped and sink, Reisenhofer said, his team has gotten more skilled at hazmat containment. “We are the first responders on the lake for hazmat,” he said, showing a couple of photos of the team at work, placing booms to contain oil spilled from boats that had sunk.
“Our primary purpose,” he noted, “is to correct any unsafe activity that might result in injury or property damage.” He added they work closed with the sheriff’s department, County Fire and LACSD to protect members and the public from injury, crimes and property loss.
“We’re proud we have a good relationship with these agencies,” he said.
Members of the shore patrol walk the trails, vet the members. They can see violations up close to docks and the shoreline in a way the patrol in boats cannot. “They are our liaisons with the members,” Reisenhofer said.
At the launch ramp, the crew inspects boats for quagga mussels and other materials that need to be cleaned off prior to putting boats on the lake. They also make sure boats are properly registered and owners are licensed.
Four team members have gone through the California Fish and Wildlife training for invasive species inspections. ALA has a strict banding policy. “This is a great program,” Reisenhofer said. “We do not allow you to launch your boat without a band on it even if it is clean, drained and spotless.” The band indicates that, when the boat came off the lake, it was inspected and found to be free of any invasive species.
The gas dock is open 364 days a year; Christmas is the only day it is closed.
The auxiliary program stemmed from an idea proposed by a member. These volunteers are walking the trail anyway so, while out there, they interact with members and look for areas in need of remediation.
The primary focus of Lake Safety, Reisenhofer said, is aquatic safety education. “We give out mostly warnings,” he said. “Only a small number result in violations.”
In addition to Kaitz being elected president for the coming year, Director Denise Loxton was elected vice president and Jim Hannon, who was unable to attend the meeting, was elected secretary-treasurer.