Outsiders are not to blame for the Beachwood bailout failure


Posted by on Fri, September 5, 2008

"Politics is the art of the possible."—Otto von Bismarck

"To open a show, I like to do one thing that is impossible.  So, right now, I’m going to suck this piano into my lungs." —Steve Martin, wielding a drinking straw

The Half Moon Bay City Council majority bet $18 million of taxpayers’ money that it could suck the piano of AB1991 through the drinking straw of the California legislature.

Now, having failed, they’re angry—at "people from outside this community", "people who had their lawyers and their lobbyists against us", and "people that don’t want it resolved".

"People from outside this community" didn’t pick this fight to hurt the city. By trying to sell out the Coastal Act as well as environmental and wetlands protections for cash, the city dared anyone who cared about the future of any portion of California coast to meet them in Sacramento for a rumble.

"People who had their lawyers and their lobbyists against us" are not at fault. Does anyone doubt that the city spent more on lawyers and lobbyists to support AB1991 than the environmentalists did to defeat it?

"People who don’t want it resolved" aren’t the problem. Those people don’t exist. Everyone who opposed AB1991 supported SB863, which was hastily thrown together to fill the gap left by the failure of AB1991. No one opposed relief for the city.

SB863 demonstrated that the city has more friends in Sacramento and the environmental community than they knew.  It’s too bad they hadn’t realized that sooner. Or yet.

Video provided by MCTV. The opinions expressed on Coastsider are those of the author, and do not represent the views of MCTV. As far as we can tell, MCTV does not post city council meetings to their website, but you can visit their home page.
Video clip: Half Moon Bay City Council (Jim Grady was absent) plays the blame game over the failure of their Beachwood bailout efforts [12 mins]. The County Times has a good account of the meeting.


Comment 1
Fri, September 5, 2008 2:55pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

Actually, my favorite quote from this clip is from Naomi Patridge: “People say you need to look at the blogs and see what people are saying.  I refuse to look at the blogs and see what people are saying.”

Comment 2
Fri, September 5, 2008 4:00pm
Janet Zich
All my comments

When will it occur to these folks that they have a better chance of crafting a bill that will pass if they sit down with the people and groups that opposed AB 1991 (and SB863) and together find a solution that will please everyone?

Locals Mike Ferreira and Debbie Ruddock should be at the table. So should Yee and whoever succeeds Mullin. So should the Committee for Green Foothills, the Sierra Club, and the Coastal Commission, as well as advocates for the homeless and all the others asked to contribute a part of their funds to pay for HMB’s survival.

The “people from outside this community,” castigated by the City Council majority, are the very people they demand pay for the city’s mistakes. This isn’t good politics, it isn’t good business, and it isn’t going to work.


People that ask for help are usually more humble and less contemptuous of those “outsiders” they need to obtain help.

The councilwoman (in canopy blue) to the right of the mayor was particularly goofy. What makes her think AB 1991 opponents have any financial responsibility for their stupid mistakes?

I hope the citizens of HMB realize they need a new city council that respects state environmental laws and the opinions of those from whom they seek help. That’s not a gamble at all. It’s merely the common courtesy needed to get things done.

I have to say that City Council member Marina Fraser sounds like a spoiled little girl who did’t get a pony for her birthday.

She claims: “20 or 30 people from outside our community who are working against us.”

The reality: Hundreds of people both within and from outside our community who recognized early on that the Old Guard City Council was trying to subvert statewide environmental laws.