Coastsider endorses Ferreira, Grady, and Skinner


By on Tue, October 18, 2005

Residents of Half Moon Bay have a clear choice in this year’s City Council election. Regardless of the opposition’s attempts to blur the lines between themselves and the current City Council majority, the choice could not be more stark.
Coastsider strongly recommends voting for the candidates who are moderates committed to improving the community while preserving the things that make the Coastside special: Jim Grady, Mike Ferreira, and Steve Skinner.

A year ago, I didn’t know any of these guys. Since I started writing Coastsider last year, I’ve become familiar with the current City Council and with a lot of the issues that affect, and divide, our community. The more I learned, the more impressed I’ve been with the current majority. Grady and Ferreira are running on their outstanding record, and Steve Skinner is running on the support of Grady and Ferreira.

They’re getting things done

They’re not afraid to make big plans. The City Council has delivered a fully-funded Highway 1/Main Street project. They’ve built trails, a bridge, and improved roads. They are building a park close to downtown despite opposition from Naomi Patridge and the Half Moon Bay Review. They’re building a small park in a neglected neighborhood.

They’re the real moderates

Grady, Ferreira, and Skinner are moderates in every sense of the word.  While the Review has attempted to paint them as extremists, Grady and Ferreira have received endorsements from the building trades unions, the developers of Wavecrest, and the San Mateo County Association of Realtors—as well as the League for Coastside Protection, the Sierra Club and Coastside Democratic Club. They have shown how development can take place for the good of the community, and within the constraints of the Coastal Act, Half Moon Bay’s Local Coastal Program, and good planning.

They want what’s best for the community

Ferreira, Grady, and Skinner have been working hard to support the school board’s mandate to build a new school at Cunha, instead of the money pit at Wavecrest. Grady and Ferreira have offered to speed building of the new school in the City Council in the same way that they expedited the rebuilding of Cunha’s Market.  Skinner has supported Cunha since the current review began. Patridge, McClung, and Muteff, die-hard Wavecresters all, have never attended a school board meeting since the review began, and have been mysteriously silent on this vital community issue ever since it became clear that Cunha was the only reasonable choice.

They want the right kind of growth

"Because of the 1% cap, growth is off the table as an issue," is something I’ve heard from many supporters of the opposition. This is disingenuous and shortsighted. First, there are plenty of ways to get around growth limits. Second, it’s illegal to steal, but would you trust a thief with the key to your home?  Third, it fails to answer the real question: "What kind of growth?" Take a look at the unplanned, eye-watering, hopscotch development that took place before the current City Council majority.  Even 1% a year of that kind of growth is too much.

We know where they stand

Finally, there’s the vague assertion that Half Moon Bay needs better management and more open government.  There is no evidence that the opposition would be better managers, or that they will be more open. But even if they were, that’s not what matters. What matters is what a candidate stands for. We know what Grady, Ferreira, and Skinner stand for. We’re a lot less certain about their opponents. Why is that?

Here’s an exercise that I think will help you make up your mind.  In the last couple of weeks, signs supporting Patridge, McClung, and Muteff have sprung up on nearly every vacant lot and farm field on the Coastside. I keep asking myself, What do the owners of those undeveloped lots know about those candidates that I don’t?

UPDATED: This editorial has been modified.  It’s less tough on the Review and the opposing candidates than the original version. I think it’s better for it.