NEWPORT BEACH, CA – Brad Avery, nationally recognized Director of Orange Coast College’s Marine Programs, today filed the forms required to begin raising funds to replace retiring Councilman Tony Petros on the Newport Beach city council.
OCC’s Marine Program operates The School of Sailing & Seamanship (http://www.occsailing.com/about-us/history/) the nation’s most comprehensive public nautical school. Over almost four decades, the School grew from a small publically-funded sailing program to a nationally recognized maritime school operating almost entirely without public funds. According to Avery, the School’s unique public/private partnership was a result of Proposition 13, which eliminated the program’s public funding in 1981.
“I had two choices when our funding was cut. We could close the program, or we could start charging fees and run it like a business. “ As a non-profit, we also reached out to our community for support.
The level of private giving over the years has been tremendous. We have many Newport Beach residents who are passionate about the ocean, boating and education.” The School now provides low-cost classes for more than 1,500 youth and adults each year. The School’s $1.5 Million budget is almost entirely met by course fees, grants, and private giving through the Orange Coast College Foundation.
Avery, who has served for the past five year on Newport Beach’s Harbor Commission, also volunteers on several non-profit boards. He is president of the 700-member Catalina Island Conservancy Marineros Group, and is a board member of the Santa Cruz Island Foundation. He is also a member of the Board of Advocates for the Oasis Senior Center.
“Brad has served on the Harbor Commission since 2011. He is a longtime boater and former business owner on the harbor and brings wide knowledge of the bay’s complexity to the city council. With over 10,000 boats in the largest recreational harbor in the United States his knowledge will be invaluable as we launch our Harbor restoration program,” declared Councilman Duffy Duffield.
“As a 47-year resident of Newport, I am excited at the possibility to serve on the council and work with residents and businesses to protect and improve the quality of life in this exceptional city.” Avery said.