HMB bailout must be rewritten, again


Posted by
Fri, May 15, 2009


Half Moon Bay’s bailout bill, SB650 in the state Senate, has more troubles, reports Julia Scott in the County Times. The Senate committee reviewing the bill has objected to its current structure as a grant from the California Infrastructure Bank Fund.  A version that included the I-Bank language passed its first committee vote in the Assembly, but this will send it back to square one in that house as well.

The bill was due to receive a hearing in the Senate committee this week, but committee chairwoman Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, objected to the source of funding the city proposed for the loan, the California Infrastructure Bank Fund. She asked that the bill be rewritten to exclude the "I-Bank," a low-interest financing authority, from the bill altogether and come up with other, guaranteed sources of funding, said Adam Keigwin, chief of Staff to state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco. Yee is the bill’s Senate sponsor. ...

"The I-Bank is capped at $2 million for the amount of money they can loan for park acquisition, and these guys are seeking $10 million, so it’s not an appropriate source. They need to find a package of loans and grants that is lawful, appropriate and politically acceptable," Vellinga said.

Senate and Assembly bills with the same language must pass with two-thirds votes.


Comment 5 by Jack Kirkpatrick on May 14 at 6:04pm •  All my comments • 

Murky? Not anymore! AB 650/SB 650 failed to get out of the Senate Committee today and Hill and Yee were told the I-Bank isn’t the appropriate forum to borrow money. I am glad to see their end run raid on the bank ended.

Tomorrow is mid-May and I wonder if the Governor will releases an update to his original budget based upon changes in the state’s revenues, and expenditures or wait intil Tuesday’s election results.

Both the Governor and the Legislature better get cracking and get the budget settled before July 1, 2009 and signed.

With Hill and Yee’s obsession with the HMB bailout, they should suspend jockeying and shopping around with and start monkeying around with the budget. Remember, no earmarks for the HMB bailout!

It is now time for the HMB City Council to get their bond financing package in order - hire bonding counsel and get the underwrters on board or decide bankruptcy is the appropriate resolution!

In any event, even if the council would have received the bailout money, it would be a half decade to get the park built, if even then. Face facts, the city council lost the citizen’s collective mufti in this charade and now must parade down to the Pacific to take a bath with a few mea culpas. There skinny dipping should get their of the importance of paying attention to details and consequences!

Half Moon Bay signed the settlement agreement April 1, 2008 and spent virtually the entire legislative session flogging the disastrous, hopeless AB1991.  I don’t know who told them that was a good idea, but what stuns me is that they didn’t have a Plan B when the stakes were so high.

AB/SB 650 now appears to have been a nonstarter from the get-go, despite the fact that they’ve had since last August to work on it.

As I’ve said before, I’d like to see the city get some relief from the state, but the settlement they signed has not left them with a lot of options.

Didn’t anybody on Jerry Hill’s staff bother to check the loan limits for parks acquisition set up for the California Infrastructure Bank? Of course not. That would have required some basic due diligence, as opposed to thinking they could just rely on political cronyism to push things through.

If the City Council had any common sense, they would be getting ready to file for bankruptcy.

One could argue that Hill and Yee are neophytes at Sacramentoa politics, but nor new comer come to any position without asking serious questiond about resources, specialist and people who have been front and back yard players when it comes to programs and finances.

Someone didn’t do their homework and spun their wheels looking for a quick fix.

It reminds me of the Pescadero school superintendent was too independent and went off on his own instead of conducting serious contacts with the experts at the state OOE and COE that could provide hime with some expertise in building school extensions He is out now.

Hill and Yee better get working on the learning curve and forget HMD’s bailout. - they wasted too much time to be competent even if they are newly elected.

In other words, they really disn’t research or do their homework and their staff is really incompetent or lazy or didn’t get the word as to what was required,

You folks are underestimating the “flexibility” with which money in various programs and accounts is spent by the legislative and administrative branches of our state government. A lot of wiggle room is created with loose language in legislation, semantic manipulations, backroom horsetrading, and convenient butt-covering “forgetfulness.” To get a good inkling of the kinds of things that go on, read as much as you can stand of the measures on tomorrow’s ballot and the arguments.

When objections crop up, it is often stimulated by opponents of something getting through to a few friendly legislators with their concerns. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if that is what happened in this instance.

Though we may not like the way they have tried to squeeze out some financial relief for Half Moon Bay, Yee and Hill aren’t engaged in anything that does not go on constantly in Sacramento.

How many here donate to or take part in a PAC when you know PACS are part of the corrupting money/influence inequities in government? I see the Yee/Hill AB/SB 650 attempt in somewhat the same light. It’s not clean, but, practically speaking, its how things are done up there. If they were not trying this for HMB, they would be getting as much or more criticism from that sick city for not doing something to help.

The problem with the legislature and the executive branch is that they have too much flexibility to move money around and parse the release of monies that were not the interest of the laws governing the expenditure of funds.

Until there is less flexibility, more transparency and a higher standard of ethics, the public is going to turn down more money for government as they should.  The legislature without the public prompting should stop all this “...wiggle room [that] is created with loose language in legislation, semantic manipulations, backroom horse trading, and convenient butt-covering “forgetfulness.”

If anything, Hill and Yee as new legislators should close those gaps or the public may have their day at the polls and oversight organizations for good government should intervene in the court system every time there is a loose call by our legislators!

I have no doubt you are right - the legislators are churning the system to bail out HMB, but that is not good politics and it was not the intent of the I-Bank or the proposition funding that was going to be raided.

Now get on with the high ethics of government, go for a public bond or go for a bankruptcy.  HMB doesn’t need the baggage of being unethically replenished on the public dole and Hill and Yee should be ashamed to parse a bailout by using “...loose language in legislation, semantic manipulations, backroom horse trading, and convenient butt-covering “forgetfulness.” We do not need those scalawag politicians - the public deserves better and has a right to high standards of ethics from our politicians.  Otherwise, they are on the take; we just can’t prove it with the layers of between them and other culprits.

Do we want obduracy of the likes of the Orange County CA sheriff, the former governor of Illinois or the mayor of Detroit?  Do we want more CA congressmen like Duke Cunningham?

I think not, but Hill and Yee are heading in that direction with AB/SB 650 and Mullins AB 1991.  If you favored AIG and the auto bailout with retention bonuses, then I gues you will like the HMB bailout.

Yee, our state senator for the whole midcoastside, is not a new legislator. Why he bothers with Half Moon Bay’s mess after all the bad-mouthing he has received from people down there is beyond me.

“The legislature without the public prompting should stop all this “‘…wiggle room [that] is created with loose language in legislation, semantic manipulations, backroom horse trading, and convenient butt-covering ‘forgetfulness.’”

Yeah, like that is ever going to happen with the money interests and electorate we have in California.

Anyone in legislative or administrative authority who tries to take an objective approach to California’s problems is going to come up smack against overpopulation, the factor that underlies and drives almost all the state’s ills. To get real about that would be political suicide in the Land of Make-Believe.

We haven’t been well served by the current restrictions on funding, so I don’t believe that increasing restrictions will make the problem better.  The enemy isn’t “government”, and the people who want us to believe that are looking after their own best interests, not ours.

Representative democracy is messy and it’s often wasteful and sometimes corrupt. It’s full of distasteful compromises. We’re better off with open meetings laws and campaign finance reform than we are with declaring war on our government.

And the truth is that the committee process in Sacramento has been doing a good job of keep Sacramento from coming up with a totally corrupt solution to HMB’s problems.

Assembly Member Hill Advancing Political Gridlock or BUSINESS AS USUAL…!

It was said “The legislature without the public prompting should stop all this “’…wiggle room [that] is created with loose language in legislation, semantic manipulations, backroom horse trading, and convenient butt-covering ‘forgetfulness.’”

It is precisely this BUSINESS AS USUAL practice that is being perpetrated upon the public taxpayers so as to bail out HMB after losing a massive lawsuit. 

Assembly member Hill and Senator Yees’ negotiations are feeding on a failed political platform and continued practices that has plague our federal, state, and local countywide elected officials as they proceed on the same old road to continued massive gridlock.

Assemblyman Hill pronounced gridlock as the most serious problem in local and state government when he was campaigning for the termed out assembly seat of representative Gene Mullins.  He succumbed to it and now Jerry Hill has already succumbed to political gridlock and he has only been on that office for less than 6 months.  I believe he should be nominated as the new poster child of the old gridlock system (just like modernizing Betty Crocker as today’s spokesperson for General Mills (at least he was in command!”  I would expect more from Hill, but he has been “bought off” and has become part of the problem - seeking out with the intent of misusing of funds not intended for the purpose it was intended with a raid on the I-Bank and Proposition 84 funds. 

Even President Obama and the national bailout is becoming systematic for AIG… and the Big 3 auto makers and its suppliers; the later have a history of failed business structures and platforms.  The “Beg 2” have been told they have to change their business practices and platform to receive taxpayer’s money… to be paid back with interest - Obama even kicked out a CEO! 

The electorate needs to kick out many more politicians including Hill and Yee to “stop all this “’…wiggle room [that] is created with loose language in legislation, semantic manipulations, backroom horse trading, and convenient butt-covering ‘forgetfulness.’”

Business as usual?  Harump!