Comments by Vince Williams

Letter: MWSD not affected by county financial fiasco

October 19, 2008
There were indications six months ago that Lehman management was going to stay the course with their sub-prime and low quality mortgage portfolio and Credit Default Swaps hedges. As short sellers increased the spread on those CDS's, Lehman's position became weaker and weaker. Lehman stock declined. Many investors dumped Lehman stock and money market funds dumped Lehman's commercial paper. But, many felt Lehman was too big to fail. Bear Sterns had been bailed out earlier in the year. Lehman was allowed…

HMB’s Q&A about AB1991 translated from spin into plain English

May 06, 2008
My intent here isn't to knock Carl May off his soap box. I just don't want anyone seriously involved with AB1991 issue to run off with misinformation. CFD's are complex, I don't have all the information on CFPD's actual regulation or the history of Beachwood and HMBFPD, but here is what I know: Beachwood is in the HMBFPD service zone of CFPD. Big commercial, multiple residential and probably large housing subdivisions are subject to a Mello-Roos Community Facilities District(CFD) in the HMBFPD service…

Letter: CFPD is free to contract with CalFire

April 11, 2008
Congratulations to the Coastside Board and their attorneys for winning this case. Looking at the ruling that Barry linked to, the Appellate Panel pretty much said there was no legal excuse for Local 2400's attorneys to omit the Board's whole resolution on the CalFire contract in their petitions. The ruling said the Board had been careful and prudent and held numerous public meetings to deliberate the CalFire contract resolution. Local 2400's attorneys decision to not include the whereas clauses of…

Is MCTV worth saving? Part II: Follow the money

April 08, 2008
Barry, Thanks for the investigation and article. A slight simplification of the pie charts is that the local governments are paying near the cost of the expenses and salaries of the people actually doing the work to record and broadcast their meetings. The rest of the revenue is mostly from The City of HMB and San Mateo County(SMC) public funds going to the Executive Director, volunteer expenses and office expenses. The local government agencies should treat the video recording of meetings as a fee…

HMB settlement gives Keenan 129 houses on Beachwood and Glencree—and more

April 07, 2008
Ken, The momentum may flame out in thirty days. But, how much effort would it take to keep AB1991 on legislative life support for a year to buy some time for a city facing bankruptcy?

HMB settlement gives Keenan 129 houses on Beachwood and Glencree—and more

April 07, 2008
I'm not an attorney. I read the agreement. This settlement agreement entered into by the present HMB City Council majority is predicated on that majority convincing the State and Federal Government and any individual or group that might sue to go along with AB1991 and not bring a suit which ties the Beachwood and Glencree developments up in court. It's beginning to sound like the consensus here is this is not likely to happen. The citizens of HMB could not participate in the current City Council's…

HMB settlement gives Keenan 129 houses on Beachwood and Glencree—and more

April 04, 2008
Steven and Ken, Thanks for your perspectives. I take away from them, the current settlement is not as clear cut as $18M or 129 homes on the fast track. That there are a lot of economic forces and big political players that have not been factored in or consulted yet. So, the controversy shifts from negotiations between The City and Keenan concurrent with a multi year Federal appeal to a year long legislative action concerning saving The City of HMB from bankruptcy, the role of the State in bailouts…

HMB settlement gives Keenan 129 houses on Beachwood and Glencree—and more

April 03, 2008
I'm very confused by all this. Brinkmanship and poor decision making over decades has caused this issue to spin hopelessly out of control. To me "the settlement" appears to be little more than taking the whole issue to the next level. The options now appear to the City of HMB pays Keenan $18 million(which would cause bankruptcy anyway) or the citizens of the State of California will have diminished access to their coast with 129 new homes AND the existing the growth rates in HMB and unincorporated…

Opinion:  Understanding the history of the MCTV dispute

March 29, 2008
Darin, Thanks for the recent history. I see little hope of influencing MCTV. This has gone on for a while and MCTV has dug their heels in too deep on the issue of copyright and being cooperative with other local events, commentary and news providers. For the SMC BOS this is small potatoes. Maybe next time the cable TV franchise is up for renewal would be the best time to bring the issue up. The most pragmatic thing at this point is to go around MCTV as you and Barry have done. I commend you for doing…

Is MCTV worth saving? Part I:  MCTV privatizes the public record

March 21, 2008
MCTV is a relic of decades of government regulation. Over the years MCTV has presented themselves to the Fire Board as a bureaucracy with no accountability other than their internal rules which appeared to change at the whim of Ms Malach. They needed to train and certify camera operators on 1970 vintage equipment. They can't have an unauthorized camera operator violating some regulation of politically correct camera operation. Their one trained camera person is over booked. There are too many local…

Video: MWSD considers webcasting, copyright issues

February 25, 2008
The recordings of public meetings should either have the copyright reside with the government agency or an unrestricted license be granted to copy and reuse either for private or commercial use. Fair use is not sufficient. Most of the local political debate is now hosted on commercial sites. If MCTV thinks they need a copyrighted recording of a public meeting to sell to defray their costs, let them convince the Board of Supervisors(BOS) to appropriate the fees tacked onto the bills of Comcast customers…

Why the Coastside Fire Board should keep the copyright to tapes of its meetings

February 20, 2008
Barry, I was taping, but just audio. The recording will be up on MontaraFog, soon. It's the third audio segment. In editing it, I found it was one of those real gems. I was happy to be able to participate in and capture it. It was a dramatic confrontation between the old media and the new media played out on an unlikely local stage. I don't see any point in copyrighting the material I record. For me personally, it's an accessible record of what happens at public meetings that keeps our elected officials…

Coastside firefighters’ pay averaged $155,000 per year in 2007

February 07, 2008
Mary Kay Jolley wrote: "My husband Clayton Jolley was the acting chief after Chief Asche retired and before Chief Bonano arrived. He has not been the acting chief since that time.” The point I was attempting to make was that Division Chief Jolley was a part of the Management at HMBFPD/CFPD in 2006 and 2007 and there was a lot of turnover of Acting Chiefs. Chief Jolley was Acting Chief for a portion of January 2006. I do no know for sure when Acting Chief Bonano last day of service was or who…

Coastside firefighters’ pay averaged $155,000 per year in 2007

February 06, 2008
Mary Kay Jolley wrote: "Why? Why do trained, experienced FF/PM leave for other departments and start at the bottom again?" In 2005 Rene Maynes conducted a management audit of HMBFPD: The HMBFPD Board followed the recommendation to hire an Acting Chief from outside the Department. Since this audit there have been FIVE Chiefs and Acting Chiefs. Your husband was one of them. When Acting Chief Bonano left he wrote a scathing memo…

Coastside firefighters’ pay averaged $155,000 per year in 2007

February 05, 2008
Mary Kay Jolley, I hope you are not referring to me as having a bias against FireFigther/Paramedics. The HMB Review printed the same slander during the last election. Requesting and publishing public information is not a bias. In posting the information, I was intending to make the information available so the citizens can make informed decisions about any new Local 2400 initiated recall petitions, an election on the CalFire Contract in case it is required by the courts or a recall election of CFPD…

Coastside firefighters’ pay averaged $155,000 per year in 2007

February 01, 2008
Kevin, To receive 90% of final year salary would require thirty years of service. Here is a link I found explaining the CalPERS Public Safety retirement benefits: 3% at 55 is the one CFPD offers. Lifetime Medical Plan qualification used to be after one day of service at HMBFPD. I heard there is a longer period of service required under the latest contract. Vince Williams Moss Beach

Supervisor Gordon suggests MCC has “outlived its usefulness”

January 29, 2008
Sabrina, You had some questions: "Vince Williams please describe with some level of detail your experience with the Board of Supervisors and how you found the BOS to be accessible." For a number of years I have been an advocate for a stable fire services on the Coastside. I have met with Supervisors Gordon and Hill on that issue and talked candidly with them about it. I won't go into specifics. In the 2005 election I was endorsed by Supervisors Gordon and Hill. Supervisors Gordon and Hill serve on…

Supervisor Gordon suggests MCC has “outlived its usefulness”

January 28, 2008
Sabrina, You make some really good observations and raise some very important questions. I agree with most of your analysis. After reading your post, a possible mechanism for transforming the MCC or slowly determining its relevancy occurred to me. Thanks. One simple suggestion is a variant of what has happened informally over the last couple of years. Develop a formal mechanism to take issues off the MCC's agenda and transfer them to the BOS agenda. Further, don't just reserve the right to initiate…

Supervisor Gordon suggests MCC has “outlived its usefulness”

January 24, 2008
Paul, I'm flattered the LCP sent out one of their big guns to type me out. I think I have been smeared. But, I'm not sure with what. I have more respect for the BOS than you paint me with. I respect them for listening to me both in public meetings and in personal communications. I also respect that they have many different supporters and deal with County wide and regional issues. I recognize that were I live is 1/10 of their responsibilities and a very small fraction of the votes that elect them.…

Supervisor Gordon suggests MCC has “outlived its usefulness”

January 23, 2008
It's ironic the disbanding of the MCC proposal is delivered not to the MCC, but to the Editor of The HMB Review. The whole governance on the MidCoast has been poor. Politics on the MidCoast is fractious. The Sups. are elected at large and represent Districts the MidCoast being part of one. So, election wise the MidCoast's issues are diluted by County wide issues. Taxation with disproportionate representation. The MCC was ostensibly formed to address part of that issue. A lot of MidCoasters put a…

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