MARTINEZ -- Where can you be out on the water without a boat? Phillip Ciaramitaro says the Martinez Fishing Pier is one of those rare places and it deserves some tender loving care.

The rundown condition of the pier and lack of relatively low-cost creature comforts is a poor reflection of the quality of life in Martinez, according to Ciaramitaro. Friends of the Fishing Pier hopes to get city support for the group's grass-roots effort to fix things.

"This is a signature part of the city, a welcome mat for people who come to town," he said. "People come from all over for a variety of activities: fishing, kite flying, the Food Mafia trucks and to walk the free fishing pier."

First impressions of the entire city are influenced by the condition of the fishing pier, Ciaramitaro has said at recent City Council meetings.

"When those places are well-appointed and well-groomed, it shows an appreciation of those amenities and pride in the community."

Apparently City Council members agree. After Ciaramitaro's presentations, the city staff was to join him for a review of potential pier projects. An analysis of how city efforts could dovetail with the Friends of the Pier initiative is expected.

Lighting, new railings, bathrooms, shade areas, benches, a better fish-cleaning setup and an ADA (Americans with Disabilities) accessible faucet are on a list of potential projects under consideration.

Praising the Martinez Parks, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission, Ciaramitaro said the commission had recommended similar improvements in the past. But the council declined the proposal at that time, favoring another project that never materialized.

A year ago, PRMCC member Gay Gerlack suggested the organization of a community group, noting the success of prior Martinez community-backed restoration projects.

"I wasn't ready for it at the time, but now I am committed to the fishing pier," Ciaramitaro said.

Ciaramitaro said the group appreciates work on a new bocce court restroom and turnaround repaving, but noted that Friends of the Pier wants a municipal commitment to a well-maintained fishing pier amenity that residents, as well as visitors, can enjoy.

Contact Dana Guzzetti at dguzzetti10@gmail.com

if you go
WHAT: "Let's go to the Hop" spring dance party fundraiser for fishing pier
WHEN: 8 p.m.-midnight April 26
WHERE: Veterans Memorial Building at Court and Ward streets, downtown Martinez
COST: $15 per person for hors d'oeuvres and no-host bar
INFORMATION: Reservations suggested; call 925-917-0441