New Coastside organizations will promote “infrastructure sensitive to the environment”
A new nonprofit organization and companion political action committee have been formed on the Coastside.
Organizers will announce the formation of Coastside Community First— a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions—and Put Community First, a political action committee at Tuesday’s Half Moon Bay City Council meeting.
Charlie Gardner, who will direct the tax-deductible organization, is a director of the Cabrillo Unified School District. The political action committee, Put Community First, will be headed by Ev Ascher, a director of the Coastside County Water District.
Gardner sent us the following mission statement:
Coastside Community First, founded by concerned Coastsiders committed to ensure that the best long-term interests of our community are always at the forefront of public decision making. Coastside Community First stands for a high-quality infrastructure sensitive to the environment; with transparent and responsive local government; and with all-inclusive, moderate political solutions that balance the various interests of our diverse community."
Gardner wrote Coastsider in an email, "It is our intention to provide educational information via web based access, and conduct various public outreach endeavors which will address public education, transportation, emergency preparedness, economic sustainability, and environmental sensitivity as these issues directly relate to our Coastside."
Gardner told me that the PAC would be able to to be involved in political endorsements, which was not possible for the tax-deductible organization he would be heading. As its first action, the PAC was endorsing Measure S, the school parcel tax. "We were going to wait until after the parcel tax election to avoid confusing the issue, but we went ahead of schedule because of the Devil’s Slide closure." Transportation is a key element of the organizations’ mission.
The directors of Coastside Community First are:
- Charles Gardner, President
- Nathan Serdy, Treasurer
- Stephen Wilson, Secretary
- Don Bacon
- Mary Bordi
- Terry Gossett
- Silvia Prewett
I asked Gardner if this was an attempt by one side of the local divide to shift the local debate from the problems of development to the need for infrastructure, and if representatives from both sides were included in the organizational meetings. Gardner said that it was his desire to include all sides and that he would be asking members of the League for Coastside Protection to participate.