Coastsider endorses Boyd, Slater-Carter for MWSD


By on Thu, November 1, 2007

Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go. Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater-Carter are friends of mine. I’ve known them as long as I have anyone in this community and I don’t know of anyone who is more dedicated to the future of the Midcoast or works harder to make our community a better place. We’re lucky to have their services on the board of the Montara Water and Sanitary District.

You can stop right here if you like. That’s reason enough to feel good about for voting for Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater-Carter. What follows is an angry rant.

The MWSD’s water supply is at the nexus of the development pressure on the Coastside. Developers, large landowners, and citizens who confuse growth with progress would like to see the district more focused on serving the needs of future residents than current residents. The Half Moon Bay Review is their newspaper.

And the Review has tried to blunt criticism of its candidate Richard Bulan by targeting Kathryn Slater-Carter.

An anonymous letter tipped the Review to the fact that Bulan, who is running on a campaign of fiscal responsibility "owed San Mateo County $19,562 in unpaid property taxes on his Moss Beach home until being confronted with evidence last week. He had also not paid $687.78 in MWSD property assessments over the last two years." The charges were true and they are a significant issue in this election.

What followed was even more revealing.  The Review investigated a charge from an anonymous poster in its TalkAbout forums that "Slater-Carter’s primary residence was in Incline Village, Nev. The poster questioned whether that would preclude Slater-Carter from running for office in California." Review reporter David Smydra checked out the allegation and discovered it was meritless, but the paper published the story under the disingenuous headline "Controversy surfaces over Slater-Carter residency". A more accurate headline would have been "Slater-Carter qualified to run for MWSD seat". But who would read that?

The next week, the Review revealed that Slater-Carter was 11 days behind in paying her Nevada property taxes of $2,433. This was presented under the headline "Slater-Carter owed taxes in Nevada", and featured an incendiary lead: "Montara Water and Sanitary District board member and current candidate Kathryn Slater-Carter recently owed delinquent taxes on her family’s vacation home in Incline Village, Nev., the Review confirmed Monday." The accurate headline?  "Slater-Carter pays Nevada taxes 11 days late".

The Review really likes Richard Bulan. They endorsed him before they found out about his tax problems, but they’re standing by their man. They’re also in a snit because Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater-Carter (understandably) chose not to attend the Review’s endorsement interview:

Montara Water and Sanitary District: This race turned nasty in the last few weeks after revelations that challenger Richard Bulan had fallen years behind on his local taxes, including the MWSD assessment. Incumbent Kathryn Slater-Carter later admitted that she had fallen behind on property taxes for a Nevada vacation home. Meanwhile, incumbents Slater-Carter and Scott Boyd ignored the Review’s repeated calls for an endorsement interview. We continue to back Bulan because we think some new blood would still be valuable on the board, but we were disappointed to learn a self-described fiscal watchdog had lost track of his tax bill.

Yes, the Review is still struggling to manufacture an equivalence between the tax issues of Bulan and Slater-Carter. It’s as if the editorial board only read the Review’s headlines and not David Smydra’s reporting.

Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater-Carter are experienced, dedicated to the community, independent, and the best candidates for the Montara Water and Sanitary District board.

NOTE: There’s a great discussion of the Review’s bias in the comments attached to this story, including important information about Kathryn Slater-Carter’s tax situation the paper declined to publish. Click the story headline or CLICK HERE to read and comment.