MCC Letter to the San Mateo County Charter Review Committee


Posted by on Sat, January 16, 2010

The following letter was unanimously approved by the MCC.  The letter was hand delivered to the Charter Review Committee (CRC) on January 13, 2010.  During the public comment period of what was the first CRC meeting, representatives from the CRC were invited to speak at the January 27 MCC meeting at Seton Coastside Medical Center.  Unfortunately the CRC scheduled its next committee meeting for January 27.  Hopefully the MCC and the CRC can find a date that works.

Midcoast Community Council
Post Office Box 248
Moss Beach, CA 94038-0064  

Neil Merrilees.Len Erickson.Leonard Woren.Deborah Lardie.David Vespremi
January 07, 2010
Charter Review Committee
County of San Mateo
455 County Center, Room 101
Redwood City, CA 94063

Re:  Midcoast Community Council support for district elections for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

Dear Charter Review Committee:

The Midcoast Community Council will have a public meeting to discuss district supervisor elections.  We invite representatives of the Charter Review Committee to participate at that public meeting on January 27, 2010 at 7:30pm at Seton Coastside Medical Center. After the meeting another letter will follow the preliminary comments contained in this letter.

As the elected representative advisers to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, on behalf of the residents of the unincorporated Midcoast communities of Montara, Moss Beach, Princeton By-The-Sea, El Granada, and Miramar, the Midcoast Community Council (MCC) respectfully submits this letter.

We agree with the June 30, 2009 Grand Jury report recommendations and urge you to support a charter amendment to provide for district elections for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
California has 58 counties and San Mateo County with more than 734,000 residents ranks as the 14th most populated county in the state. However, San Mateo County is the only remaining county in California with at-large elections for Supervisor.  During the last 40 years only one Coastside resident has been elected Supervisor.

The challenges and opportunities for residents of the Coastside are different from other parts of the county. As noted by the California Coastal Commission during their December 2009 hearing on County proposed Local Coastal Program amendments, the San Mateo County Coastside has special regulations, protections, and sensitivities unique as compared with other areas of the County.

The cost to run a county-wide campaign is much higher than a district campaign, and the expense of running such a large campaign drastically limits the candidate pool. For this reason, and in the interest of more responsive government, we request that the Charter Review Committee support a charter amendment to provide that San Mateo County Supervisors be elected by district.

We look forward to continued involvement in the public process.

Thank you for your consideration.

Neil Merrilees
Chair, Midcoast Community Council

I witnessed this letter being delivered to Michael Murphy that night. I don’t know if the Charter Review Committee can also look at our Private Defender Program which is also only in our County, not one of the 57 other Counties have it. Where this becomes a challenge is at the Service League of San Mateo County. google it and look at the Advisory Board. You will find, James P. Fox, Greg Munks, and John Digiacinto (Private Defender) and the Probation Chief are all members. You we also see most of our BOS members…not Rich Gordon

I also would like to see that all members of the CRC live in San Mateo County. Michael Murphy did this recently when he created the Citizens Review Panel that had no ordinary citizens on it and several of his personal chosen people live in other Counties. I don’t like that idea and I have told him and the BOS that.