Letter: You can help stop the City Council’s cynical gutting of planning commission

Letter to the editor

Posted by on Sat, December 17, 2005


They’re at it again. Seven years ago, in 1998, Naomi Patridge and Jerry Donovan, along with Betty Stone, tried to gut the Planning Commission and replace them with their own people. People got mad, gathered signatures for a referendum and stopped them in their tracks.

Pay attention: Naomi is trying to do the exact same thing again.

This Tuesday, the new City Council meets for its first full Council session - with now-mayor Marina Fraser, now-Vice Mayor Naomi Patridge and Bonnie McClung leading the way.

The first order of business: dump the planning commission.

Currently there are 7 Planning Commissioners, and the Council majority wants to eliminate two of them to make it a 5-person commission.

If they’re successful, say goodbye to Kevin Lansing and Planning Commission Vice Chair James Kellenberger.

Worse, Naomi and friends want to make the terms of the commissioners coincide with City Council elections - which, surprise, means that Naomi and McClung get to fire two more commissioners and replace them with whomever they want.

If they’re successful, say goodbye to Sofia Freer and Jack McCarthy.

If Naomi Patridge, Marina Fraser and Bonnie McClung have their way, the Planning Commission is completely gutted in the first meeting of the new City Council. This is a blatantly political, cynical and aggressive move to undermine the Coastal Act and get pro-development people running the Planning Commission.

This cannot happen. They’re trying to do this during the holidays when people aren’t paying attention.

We need your help. This is urgent.

Please come to the City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 20 and make your voice heard. These three Council members need to hear you say:

  • No, I do not like sneaky, underhanded politics. Naomi Patridge and Bonnie McClung ran on a platform of open government. this is open government? It’s the epitome of back-room, manipulative politics.
  • No, I do not want the Planning Commission changed. The seven-person commission is necessary to allow maximum input into the decisions that affect our coastal area.
  • No, I do not want the staggered terms of the Planning Commission to change. These staggered terms are the commission’s only guarantee of independence and objectivity. You can’t rig the Planning Commission to suit your politics.
  • Yes, I will sign a referendum - just as hundreds and hundreds of Half Moon Bay citizens signed a referendum eight years ago when you tried this before - because these blatantly political moves must be stopped.

Your participation is vital in this fight. We stopped them on the exact same scheme eight years ago, and we MUST stop them again.

John Lynch
Half Moon Bay

For those of us who can’t attend, what’s the best way to help? Write a letter? To whom? Can we send email?  It’s tough to make these meetings since they are always during the business week when I’m working.

Comment 2
Sun, December 18, 2005 10:32pm
John Lynch
All my comments

Comments about the Planning Commission Issue can be sent to:

City Hall
c/o Siobhan Smith, City Clerk
501 Main Street
Half Moon Bay, VA 94019
Subject: Agenda Item 10 for Council Meeting of December 20, 2005

For faster delivery (preferred)
City Clerk, Siobhan Smith, <email>[email protected]</email>

Mayor Marina Fraser, <email>[email protected]</email>
Council Member Jim Grady, <email>[email protected]</email>
Council Member, David Gorn, <email>[email protected]</email>
Council Member, Bonnie McClung, <email>[email protected]</email>
Council Member, Naomi Patridge, <email>[email protected]</email> (last known email address from 1997 Smartvoter.org page)
City Manager, Debra Ryan, <email>[email protected]</email>
Planning Director, Jack Liebster, <email>[email protected]</email>