Waterfront Director Retires

John Bridley, the city’s waterfront czar for the past 15 years, will retire this week after a City Hall career spanning 30 years, and will be replaced—at least on an interim basis—by Scott Riedman, business manager of the Waterfront Department for the past 10 years. A fiefdom unto itself, the city’s waterfront can be an unruly and unforgiving place, and previous directors have felt the need to exert dictatorial control. By contrast Bridley managed with competence and equanimity, weathering recurring budget shortfalls, endangered bird species, cranky fishermen, demanding yacht owners, angry live-aboards, and a gay-rights controversy over Dr. Laura—and whether she should be allowed to broadcast live from a waterfront location. Bridley earned his chops as the go-to guy at the city’s Redevelopment Agency—where he was famous for not wearing socks—bringing to logistical fruition the construction of the downtown’s Paseo Nuevo Mall and the city’s refurbished train depot, to name just two. He brought to the waterfront the same entrepreneurial enthusiasm in securing new revenue streams, opening the waterfront up to more businesses and more visitors than before.

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