Half Moon Bay needs a change of government


By on Fri, October 23, 2009

Coastsider endorses Ruddock, Handler, and Freer

Coastsider endorses Deborah Ruddock, Dan Handler, and Sofia Freer for Half Moon Bay City Council. Our reasons are simple:  Half Moon Bay needs a change of government.

I know Ruddock, Handler, and Freer personally. They are qualified, smart, rational, engaged, progressive, and they know what needs to be done.

  • Change the irresponsible judgement that led to the greatest fiscal disaster in the city’s history.
  • Change the city’s war on environmental law to a fight for sustainability and livability.
  • Change to political values in harmony with those of the community.
  • Change Half Moon Bay’s city government from closed to open.

In the Twenty-First Century, communities will be valued for their open space, clean air, walkability, access to natural resources, and sustainability. Half Moon Bay has what other Bay Area cities can only dream of, and is in danger of losing what makes it a unique and desirable place to live.

There’s more to creating a successful community than making it a an easier place to do business, but that’s not what you’re hearing from the city council incumbent (Naomi Patridge) and her running mates (Allan Alifano and Rick Kowalcyk) and fellow travelers (George Muteff and Charles Hoelzel).

It’s time for a change, and you know it. And in a low-turnout election with so many candidates, every vote counts. Remember that four years ago, the city council majority turned on fewer than a dozen votes.

Your vote is needed.

Don’t reward disastrous judgement

Faced with a massive legal judgement, the city council had few options. Even so, they made the worst possible choice.

They committed themselves to getting a preposterously anti-environmental bill through the California state legislature.

They supported that bill with a series of blunders that would have been comic had the result not been so tragic.

It’s clear that a less cynical and aggressive bill could have succeeded in the legislature, but by then the legislature was hip-deep in a Republican-created budget crisis. The city had squandered its opportunity, and it had no backup plan.

It would be a mistake to reward the city council majority by allowing it to continue to run the city.

Plan for the future

Why do you live in Half Moon Bay and not Foster City? Because you like the fog and commuting on Highway 92? Or because you value open space, wildlife, the small-town experience, and coastal access?

The city council majority declared war on the Coastal Commission, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the rest of the legal structure that keeps the Coastside sustainable.

Their position isn’t about defending private property rights, or meeting the needs of the community.  It’s about them putting our shared and irreplaceable environment second to every other concern on their agenda.

Support progressive values

Half Moon Bay is a progressive community—it voted overwhelmingly in favor of Barack Obama and other Democrats and against Proposition 8 last year. 

The city council majority has the undying loyalty of the right wing element of the electorate. Is that where you stand?

Half Moon Bay should have a city council that shares its values.

Open up city government

If the city council had worked with the citizens, its own legislative delegation, and the environmental community—rather than Chop Keenan—in developing its legislative strategy for the settlement, there is little question that Half Moon Bay taxpayers would have been better served.

Instead, the city’s strategy was worked out in secret with the one man who had nothing to lose—a man who held a $40 million gun to the city’s head. The result was an unalloyed disaster for everyone except Chop Keenan.

The city council slipped in its ill-advised raise for its city manager into its agenda as secretly as they could. The result was a disaster as soon as Sacramento got a whiff of what they were up to.

In 2007, the city council held important community meetings on the disposition of critical park lands with the absolute minimum of public notice.

If the Half Moon Bay City Council had worked in the open with its citizens, it could have avoided most of its outrageous blunders of the last four years.

Don’t be fooled

The Half Moon Bay Review’s endorsement of two members of the majority slate, plus Deborah Ruddock, will only continue the status quo: A single progressive member (Ruddock rather than Jim Grady) isolated, bullied, and unable to get a motion even seconded when it matters. This is what led to the disastrous Beachwood settlement, over Jim Grady’s protests.

If Half Moon Bay is to be a good place to live in the future, it needs a change of government now.