Reminder: Montara and El Granada community parks meetings this week

Posted by on Mon, January 15, 2007

There will be a meeting for residents of Montara and El Granada this week to discuss the Midcoast parks and recreation plan.  Two residents of each community will be selected for the implementation team. 

Montara residents: January 16, 7:00pm, Seton Medical Center, Fireside Room, 600 Marine Blvd., Moss Beach

El Granada residents: January 17, 7:00pm, El Granada Elementary School, Multipurpose Room, 400 Santiago Street, El Granada

For more information, see our earlier story.

Comment 1
Mon, January 15, 2007 10:09pm
Ken King
All my comments

Ironically, on the very same night that Midcoast residents are getting together to discuss a cooperative and inclusive plan for parks, the newly-elected Mayor of HMB, Naomi Patridge is introducing an ordinance that would eliminate assured representation of Midcoast residents on the HMB Parks and Recreation Commission. The alleged reason for the ordinance: it’s too hard to fill the Midcoast slot!

Perhaps some Midcoast residents who can will miss the County’s park meeting can show up at Tuesday’s HMB City Council meeting and tell Mayor Patridge that her proposed ordinance is not a very cooperative or inclusive way of thinking about parks and recreation on the Coastside. 

HMB City Council Agenda for Tuesday January 16, 2006

Council Meeting Agenda Item #7
Proposed Ordinance by Mayor Naomi Patridge to Eliminate Assured Representation of Midcoast Residents on HMB Parks and Rec Commission

Comment 2
Tue, January 16, 2007 10:18am
Brian Ginna
All my comments

Why is it that Mr. King feels that Half Moon Bay’s city code should make it a “requirement” that a spot on a City commission be filled by a non-resident?  Optional is not good enough?  Clever wordsmithing though, using “assured” instead of required.

Does Mr. King also feel that the Planning Commission should have spots that are required to be filled by non-residents?  Highly doubtful.  Why is he so suddenly concerned about the rights (?) of non-residents to serve on HMB City Commissions?  Simply a chance to take a shot at Mrs. Patridge?

The actual language for the agenda item is:  Ordinance Amending Half Moon Bay Municipal Code 2.26, “Parks and Recreation Commission”, not the rhetoric-laden description Mr. King feels the need to use.

The existence of a requirement that a non-resident spot be filled can only serve to turn away interested HMB applicants.

How many non-CUSD, non-San Mateo County facilities outside Half Moon Bay fill active recreational needs on the Coastside?  Perhaps only the Moss Beach playground and Quarry Park?  Speaking of representation, are Half Moon Bay residents assured a spot on MidCoast Park Lands board?

Mr. Ginna seems to be saying that the real justification for the ordinance is that it removes an undeserved and unnecessary entitlement granted to MidCoast residents by HMB.

But that’s not the justification for the ordinance listed in the staff report: the claim there is that it may be difficult to find someone from the Midcoast who is willing to serve due to “lack of non-City resident interest in serving on the Commission.”

Because there are no recreational services and minimal parks facilities in the unincorporated area, many residents of the unincorporated area utilize Half Moon Bay’s recreation services.  That would explain why one of the Commission positions is reserved for a non-resident.

There’s also a “sphere of influence” consideration which is way beyond the scope of this reply.

As to the Midcoast Park Lands board, to my knowledge there is no residency requirement at all.

Comment 5
Tue, January 16, 2007 9:58pm
Carl May
All my comments

The underlying question concerns whether or not the City of HMB is still getting state or county funds for city park and recreation activities that serve people in the unincorporated area—in the contrived “sphere of influence” the city is supposed to have for such things.

If so, then representation from outside the city makes perfect sense. If not, then there is no reason for such representation. Someone in HMB should be able to find out the answer to the funding question pretty quickly by going to the records that state the sources of funds for parks and rec.

As an aside, I think it is silly for the city to have a sphere of influence over parks and rec—just more tail wagging the dog when it comes to the uninc. areas. County area people taking part in city parks and rec programs should pay for such activities individually, and vice versa if the county ever stops having meetings every few years on the same questions and actually starts doing its job on parks and rec for the uninc. communities.

Carl May

Comment 6
Tue, January 16, 2007 10:05pm
Carl May
All my comments

The county keeps rerunning studies and meetings on this matter every few years. Are they waiting for the population to change in the direction of allowing the county to do whatever suburban-type recreational development it wants to do (=$$$$) rather than what coastsiders have said they prefer repeatedly in the past? The desire by the county to grossly overdevelop the coastal trail into a wide, paved coastal road across the Mirada Surf property may be an indication.

Carl May

Comment 7
Wed, January 17, 2007 11:08am
Ken King
All my comments

The HMB code that reserved a mandatory position for Mid Coast representation existed since 1991. Mr. Ginna’s wordsmithing places this in the future tense, “make it a requirement, etc,” as if this was something being attempted. My point was that where nothing is broken, why fix it? Fix it they did last night anyway—it’s now optional. Which means it won’t be long until that position is replaced with a HMB resident. We should have no doubt that our canny mayor already has someone in mind, else this would not have come up at this point in time.

Mayor Patridge and Mr. Ginna are in complete alignment in their simple and heartfelt Half Moon Bay nationalism. There are so many folks in HMB that want to be on a commission that we should honor their wishes above the inconvenient fact that we share our resources with a northern population of folks that equal us in population. So, to paraphrase an earlier incarnation of our governor on celluloid, “Hasta la vista, Mid Coast!”

I’m a Park and Rec. commissioner from Half Moon Bay. Last night at the HMB city council meeting I brought up the point that, from a recreational perspective, we are a single community from Half Moon Bay to Montara.

It seems logical that the mid-coast should be represented on the HMB Park and Rec. commission, since we provide recreational services to the same population that is served by CUSD.

Councilmembers Grady and Muller agreed with me, but the women of the council prevailed. Their reasons for changing the ordinance, which used to mandate mid-coast representation, were not persuasive.

Not surprisingly, there was the same 3:2 split against sending the Planning Director’s approved Cunha CDP back to the Planning Commission.

“We should have no doubt that our canny mayor already has someone in mind, else this would not have come up at this point in time.”

And potentially leave one of Mr. King’s and Mr. Lansing’s political friends on the outside, looking in?  That is probably how it will go down.

I figured there must be a reason for the sudden interest in non-HMB residents serving on HMB Commissions.  How about we replace Mr. Lansing on the Planning Commission with non-resident.  Can we nominate Jim Larimer?  Would you guys like it going the other way?

Comment 10
Thu, January 18, 2007 1:40pm
Ken King
All my comments

Mr. Ginna: “there must be a reason for the sudden interest in non-HMB residents serving on HMB commissions.” Um, yes, interest was fueled by the mayor’s sudden move to change a legal precedent of fifteen years’ duration, with a nonchalant admission that it might disenfranchise Mid Coast residents, who, while not voting in HMB, do shop, attend school and obtain services in HMB.

Here’s an exchange from Tuesday’s nights council meeting on the topic: 

GRADY: “I think we should remain inclusive by keeping the Midcoast position on Parks and Rec.”

PATRIDGE: “Jim I agree with you. That’s exactly why I put his item on the agenda—To make it optional to keep the Midcoast position on Parks and Rec.”

Say what? Oh well, Patridgee knows how to exercise power. But recognize this for what it is, continued consolidation of power that the conservative block already exercises on HMB’s council, parks and rec, planning and architectural review commissions, and at CCWD and CUSD. They’ve got momentum and are intent on running the table.

Mr. Ginna’s barking at those who point all of this out in no way obviates these events.

“Oh well, Patridgee (sic) knows how to exercise power.”

So do the folks who mortgaged the City’s future by purchasing a $3.2MM piece of land the City clearly did not need and for which the City clearly overpaid.  Was the City Council “inclusive” then?  Silly stuff.

Clearly, just rhetoric to continue to try to make her look bad.

Comment 12
Thu, January 18, 2007 9:04pm
Carl May
All my comments

Still no answer to my question as to whether or not HMB’s Parks and Rec is receiving “sphere of influence” funds for the uninc. communities? It used to, but because I don’t waste time on the petty internal politics of the city, I don’t know if it still does.

Sorry kumbaya folks, but the unincorporated communities are not even close to being one with HMB for recreational activities. And because of the different landscapes of the city and the uninc. areas, they are even farther apart on so-called “passive” parks. (Isn’t it weird that some of the most strenuous recreational activities take place in passive parks?) There are several overall midcoast connections for some activities through such agencies as the CUSD, of course, but the distinct geography and different general environmental and social orientations of the two areas swamp the similarities. It must also be recognized that lots of HMB citizens go into the unincorporated communities and surrounding countryside for some of their passive and active recreation, so it is not at all a one-way flow of recreational activity into HMB.

In fact, there are patent distinctions between the various unincorporated communities with regard to open space, passive and active parks, and recreational activities. Like the city, the county gets none of this in spite of the piles of data verifying such facts and the empirical evidence anyone can gather by actually going out into the various areas.

Making this issue into a political game only serves to further verify the “ship-of-fools” makeup of politics in the City of Half Moon Bay. Because there is a sister ship at the county, the citizens of the several communities of the midcoast always end up the losers, getting a steady stream of childish shenanigans instead of good government.

Carl May

Comment 13
Thu, January 18, 2007 11:10pm
Sofia Freer
All my comments

There are few parcels that are both suitable and available for community park use, and we cannot afford to let go of any opportunities.

The Review’s myth about the city getting snookered on the Stone Pine property and being unlawfully secretive about the purchase has managed to fool a lot of good people.  I guess if something is said over and over again by the press and by a handful of individuals it takes on the appearance of truth.

It saddens me that land for recreational use has become such a political football.  Our families and young people deserve better.

Comment 14
Fri, January 19, 2007 8:33am
Ken King
All my comments

Mayor Patridge stands bathed in the light of Mr. Ginna’s dispensing grace—his non sequitur was barely noticeable. Lucky there is an available knight errant to defend HMB’s fair mayor

“I guess if something is said over and over again by the press and by a handful of individuals it takes on the appearance of truth.”

The same can be said for Mr. King’s and your statements, no?  Why was the famous “Community Park” due diligence report so heavily redacted?  Something about litigation strategy?  Sounds like a City Council convincing a City Attorney that they were on shaky ground (literally).  Who knows - happened behind closed doors.  Hmmm…

“It saddens me that land for recreational use has become such a political football.  Our families and young people deserve better.”

And it appears that you threw a screen pass there, hopefully you have a few lineman who can pull out to block for you.

Since HMB has a very energetic and capable Park & Rec. staff, hopefully those families LIKE MINE and young people LIKE MY KIDS can get closer to getting fields without the continued obstruction of a few vocal opponents.  Maybe a reformed Park n Rec commission can move things forward.  I keep checking those agendas and see very little movement on the Community Park in the last year, if any.

Could you please give your reason(s) for why the Sewer Plant road, which the City already owned, is not suitable?  It surely is available.

“Making this issue into a political game…”  It has been, for a long time, Mr. May.

Comment 16
Tue, January 23, 2007 3:16pm
Barb Mauz
All my comments

It has been reported on the Review’s website that a bicyclist and vehicle collided earlier this week on SR1 near Surfer’s Beach.

According to HMB police, the bicyclist was reportedly making a left turn off the highway’s southbound lane at the stop light when he was struck by an SUV. CA State Parks officials, CA Hwy. Patrol & HMB police responded.

The article states that the victim was taken to HMB Airport and transported by helicopter for treatment at 10 a.m. There was no immediate word on his condition.

Note that at the County Park Dept’s. meeting in El Granada on the 17th, an attendee asked Dave Holland about the plan in County’s so-called “LCP Update” for a Pedestrian/Bike Trail on the East Side CalTrans ROW - Mr. Holland replied that there is NO Pedestrian/Bike Trail in County’s current plans!?!

It is a real shame that it takes a tragedy such as this to MAYBE, wake the County/Park Dept. up on the need for this Pedestrian/Bike Trail instead of their current plans for expensive, urbanized Park/Rec development.

The majority of attendees at the meeting upon Dave Holland’s request, AGAIN expressed that our priorities are, (1) Acquisition & Preservation of Greenbelt/Open Space Areas and (2) Trails & THAT would include an East side Pedestrian/Bike Trail using the CalTrans ROW.

Mr. Holland agreed with me at the prior meeting, that the County’s numbers they used to base all of their over-bloated assumptions for active park/rec facilities were too high; he said that they & the County’s “plan” need to be revised.

The County/Park Dept. clearly have the CART BEFORE THE HORSE! They need to get those outdated, over-estimated Buildout Numbers & out-of-scale assumptions corrected BEFORE choosing two people from each community to come up with a “Park/Rec. Plan” & ways to fund it. This seems to be just another “Shadow Government” group in the forming & the tax-paying homeowners in the Mid-Coast SHOULD NOT PUT UP WITH THAT! 

Barb Mauz