A former port worker claims the town council is justified in its objection to a Harbour Revision Order but he says the board should not be replaced.
Mick Tedder, of Buckland Avenue, Dover, said that as a non-political observer he can see that there are faults on both sides regarding the dispute over the community directors.
He told the Mercury: “Firstly, I believe our mayor was totally wrong or very badly advised to call for the whole port board to be replaced.
“He has as much right to do this as the port has to appoint our mayor. In fact, he should be doing the complete opposite.
“Let us be very clear it is only since the arrival of George Jenkins as Dover Harbour Board chairman that the port and town have started to come together.
“DHB has been the driving force behind the vast majority of initiatives to achieve this partial union, not Dover Town or District Council.
“Did our mayor or his advisors bother to look at the make-up of the current port board?
“It contains individuals who understand regeneration projects and were appointed for that reason.
“It defies all logic for the town to try to remove the very individuals who are on the brink of delivering a £120 million regeneration project to which the town has contributed nothing.”
However, Mr Tedder said he thinks the town council is absolutely right to oppose the latest order as he claims it is flawed in several areas.
He added: “I cannot understand why, after all this time, energy, and effort, DHB seem set to fall at the last hurdle and undo all the trust and goodwill they have built up in recent years by producing an HRO that is clearly not fit for purpose.
“In the middle of this we seem to have Cllr Burke trying to hijack this dispute for political ends.
“Let me remind her in 2011, 5,357 ‘town people’ came out to vote on the subject of port privatisation: 5,244 were against and 113 in favour.
“This was clearly the democratic will of the people and provided the catalyst for where we are today. And it appears, without the current intervention of DTC, the prospect of community directors would now be dead and buried.
“We then have almost threatening offerings from our MP of delays if the HRO has to go to an inquiry. I personally think a public MMO inquiry might be a good thing.”
He suggested both sides meet at the Port and Community Forum to resolve issues as quickly as possible.