Supervisor Gordon unmoved by our requests to choose our representatives

Editorial

Posted by
Mon, January 19, 2009


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Cheri Parr
Supervisor Gordon addresses the most packed and lively MCC meeting in years.
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Cheri Parr
Ric Lohman, nominated by MCC, rejected by Rich Gordon and most likely the Board of Supervisors.
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Cheri Parr
Darin Boville takes a couple of minutes away from the Montara Fog camera to address the crowd on how the Midcoast should have more local government.

The biggest surprise at Wednesday’s meeting to discuss eligibility for the Midcoast Community Council was how many members of either the Montara Water and Sanitary District or the Granada Sanitary District have served on the MCC in its twenty-year history. And most of them were at the meeting.

Supervisor Gordon was unmoved by the outpouring of support [Montara Fog’s video of Gordon’s summary comments] for allowing members of our water and sanitary boards to represent us to Redwood City.

I can understand why it might not make sense for there to be a majority of GSD directors on the MCC. It’s less clear why there shouldn’t be at least one member of each of the Midcoast’s only real government agencies among the seven who represent our needs to the Board of Supervisors.

What did become clear as the evening wore on was that everyone in the room knew that the MCC has no power, no budget, no voice, and no staff. And that its wishes are ignored in Redwood City. What’s amazing is that anyone would want to serve on the MCC. Ironically, because of this, we’re even more grateful to them for their hard work in their service to the ideal, if not the reality, of a voice for the Midcoast.

The split in the room was no surprise either. The slow-growth Midcoast establishment showed up in droves in support of their man and the principal of voting for their own representatives. And their growth-boosting opponents demanded that the Supervisors give them a change they haven’t been able get at the ballot box.

This rift cannot be healed by more talk. And the Supervisors have neither the wisdom nor the authority to split the difference.

The Midcoast will never be free until we have sovereign authority over who speaks for us, how our money is spent, and how our community is planned.

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Cheri Parr

 
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Cheri Parr

 

 


Hey Barry,

A few quick reactions:

>>The biggest surprise at Wednesday’s meeting…was how many members of either the Montara Water and Sanitary District or the Granada Sanitary District have served on the MCC in its twenty-year history.<< [edited by me]

This information, of course, could be interpreted to support the Supes proposal that we need more separation between elected bodies.

>>What did become clear as the evening wore on was that everyone in the room knew that the MCC has no power, no budget, no voice, and no staff.<<

I think you had already left by the time soon-to-be MCCer Sabrina Brennan spoke but she talked about her brief conversations with people at the meeting during the break and how several were unaware that the MCC had no power etc. I spoke to this too during the public section, talking about the disconnect from what people *think* the MCC is (and perhaps what it should be) compared to its powerless reality.

>>The split in the room was no surprise either. The slow-growth Midcoast establishment showed up in droves in support of their man and the principal of voting for their own representatives. And their growth-boosting opponents demanded that the Supervisors give them a change they haven’t been able get at the ballot box.<<

I didn’t see this in quite the way you did. I *did* see people show up to support Ric Lohman but few of them addressed the core issue of the Supes proposal. Many seemed to think that this was all about Ric—that the Supes feared him in some way—and the rest was just a smokescreen.

Finally, to call the supporters of the Supes proposal “growth boosting” is nothing more than partisanship and does a disservice to encouraging dialog on this issue.

—Darin

Comment 2
Mon, January 19, 2009 10:05pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

I didn’t see any disinterested parties speaking. The supporters of the Supervisors’ proposal were Charlie Gardner, Joel Farbstein, and a couple of contractor/developers whose names I didn’t catch.

I’m not saying their opinions don’t matter. I’m saying that the only forum that matters is the ballot box and the Supervisors continue to deny us access to that.

Comment 3
Mon, January 19, 2009 10:13pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

Actually, I’d momentarily forgotten that you’d spoken in favor of the proposed resolution, and I would describe you as a disinterested party. My apologies.

Barry spoke of the divide on the issue of growth on the Midcoast.  The County Supervisors are hardly neutral on the issue of growth.

The political interests that control the Supervisors do not have the same interests as the Midcoast.  The Bayside cities manage and control growth with in their individual borders. Cities on the Bayside in general have a NIMBY attitude as far as development, dump it on those cities or unincorporated areas that either want it or can’t stick up for themselves.  The unincorporated portions of the County are disproportionally represented in Supervisors elections. The Supervisors are an easy target for trade unions and real estate interests to push development through political contributions.  The Supervisors position is a stepping stone to higher offices.  The Supervisors don’t live here, have little stake in the Midcoast and don’t have to live with their decisions as they move on to other elected offices.

The County does not have the resources to provide the necessary infrastructure for development on the Coastside(widening highways, landscaping public rights of way, providing parks or even maintaining what they have responsibility for now, like the eucs. and pines on public rights of way).  So, the Supervisor’s agenda really is to dump housing here, while doing as little as possible about Midcoast infrastructure.  That is a very real problem for the residents of the Midcoast. The voters of the Midcoast have responded to that problem by electing mostly slow growth candidates to the MCC and the special districts.

The Midcoast probably is a headache for the Supervisors and most of the County government offices in Redwood City.  The Supervisors probably see a need for a cooperative advisory council for the Midcoast, just to make their job easier.  The Midcoast is probably revenue neutral to underperforming, when compared to the services the County must provide to the Midcoast.  If it weren’t, the Midcoast would have incorporated long ago.

Given these issues, does any reasonable person think the Supervisors are going to grant any more power to the MCC?

While “the MCC has no power, no budget, no voice, and no staff”, the MCC is useful for some as a political platform.  Just look at who runs for the MCC.  With “the no power, no budget, no voice and no staff” comes NO RESPONSIBILITY.  The special districts have real business to conduct, the MCC doesn’t. We hear from MCC members, we tried, it’s all the Supervisor’s fault, they didn’t listen to us.  Sure, the MCC does some feel good tasks to justify its continued existence.  But, every real issue in the Midcoast gets bent around the issue of growth and goes nowhere.

What value does the MCC have to the Midcoast residents going forward?

Disinterest????????

Huh? Since when does an opposing view point come across as “disinterest”. Please post the definition… otherwise, it was quite the opposite.

Because Darin Boville supports limited multi-board powers… his opinion is castigated as “disinterest”?

I don’t recall Darin saying nor posting he was disinterested in the matter. Quite the opposite. Darin is passionate and concerned, and should be subject to this “broad brush” yet typical painting of “not caring” a la ‘disintrested’. Moreover, he was supportive of the County’s proposal yet conciliatory to opposing viewpoints… something that we didn’t see from the other ... nevermind.

Unless you meant ‘disinterested’ in the Coastsider’s opinion on the matter… and here I thought we were breaking away from the HMB Review folly…

Wow. Stay classy.

A forum that matters is unconflicted representation.

Comment 6
Tue, January 20, 2009 1:44pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

Kevin, you should [look it up][1]. “Disinterested” means:

> 1.    unbiased by personal interest or advantage; not influenced by selfish
> motives: a disinterested decision by
> the referee.

Darin was the only person to speak in favor of Rich Gordon’s proposal that had neither a partisan nor financial axe to grind.

That doesn’t mean I think he’s right or that his is the only opinion that matters. Just that I think he came to his conclusions from a relatively neutral starting position.


  [1]: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/disinterested

Sorry Barry… I draw from Merriam-Webster whose definition 1 reads as:

1 a: not having the mind or feelings engaged

But provided your explanation, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Onward… actually Barry, I saw/heard more supporters for the County’s proposal than against! How was that? Well, most took their time to make it about Ric and their personal grievances against Gordon/SMC, and not the actual proposal.

I took notes. I would have to say VERY FEW took exception to the county’s decision, but took the opportunity to turn into a circus, or a “RicStock Festival”.... which I thought was NOT the point of the decision.

Anyways, here’s my notes on the meeting (the only part I took… since most really don’t care about the rest of the MCC’s order of business, and are more interested in the set list of “RicStock”... I can think of few quick exits as soon as it was over, with a full agenda still on the docket… ahem). A recap of the acts:

[mind you this was for feedback on the county’s proposal to eliminate multi-board/agency service]

1 - A push for later meetings, and a personal plug for Ric.

2 - Nothing but a Ric plug.

3 - A push for Ric.

4 - Another push for Ric.

5 - A nod for Ric, then some taking advantage of Gordon’s presence and the large audience for an ambush on water wells at the airport.

6 - (often it’s the undercard that provides the best fights) Joel’s succinct and mostly on topic feedback.

7 - April whom started on a Board rant, The Brown Act, and then laid a great argument against the county. (two in a row… great feedback, opposite spectrums, beautiful… unfortunately it turned out to be a rarity).

8 - Cyd…. started a little bit on the legal aspect, but nosedived (without the fortune of USAir #1549) back into a Ric plug.

9 - Chas Gardner - great speech, alas mostly off topic, and grandstanding on history and edict. Good close on ethical conflict. Alas, thank you MCC Chair for reminding the audience on the topic… not.

10 - MF. Plug for Ric, put onus on county responsible to prove the point, and again a Ric plug. I think… given my desperation for focus, constitutes as somewhat on topic.

11 - Perkovic - 4 minutes. 4 minutes. or was it 14? anyways, some great factual and ethical points brought up, but threw his eggs into the Gordon/Fishing Committee basket, which the bottom completely fell out minutes later. Whoops.

12 - Boyd - What? A Ric plug??? Figured, if anyone, would remind the audience of feedback on the county’s proposal to eliminate multi-board/agency service… would be this cat. Instead, long winded speech on the value of the MCC, as well. However some salient and concrete points on the legalese, however, they aren’t totally in check (another posting/thread for later).

13 - This one, not ok with current candidates, recommendation of trying an office out. Saw this as a long term issue not about Ric or the current standing board.

14 - Brad - yowza. Ambush?, or, moreover a Luftwaff’ian-like 3AM surprise. Pinning 40K water fees and no-growth policies on the MCC. Curious how he feels about individuals on multiple-boards. Maybe that’s best left for another meeting that DOESN’T have it on the agenda.

15 - Stein… on… the MCC and .... how good a guy Ric is. I agree too, love, but… nevermind.

16 - (stepped out)

17 - Back to the topic at hand… presented professional and personal opinion regarding conflict of interest serving on multiple boards. A “disinterested” party (see definition #2 in http://www.m-w.com).

18 - With Bill Graham-like deftness the cards were stacked to have the Ace of Diamonds go last… I like Ric… but Wed night wasn’t supposed to be about Ric, or so I thought. We got an encore of “I’ve been told I’m stupid”, “I’m just volunteering” and “I protect the law”.

Ric.. it was never supposed to be about him. Or maybe that was my naivety given what I saw on the MCC’s Agenda and “fine lines” I’ve had to sift thru on local ‘media’ outlets.

All that for 8 months for a 7th head on an advisory body… who swears to not run again. Was it to challenge the ruling and a “win for us” being for the benefit of more Rics into perpetuity, vs the sake of “winning the fight vs the County Supes”?

Congrats to Ric and the support, and moreover your service… but great way to waste time.

For what it’s worth, I noticed there are a few other board members under threat of the proposal that noone seemed to come the rescue of… “put the good the guy in front, maybe noone will shoot at him, given they’re all aiming at us”.

Comment 9
Sat, January 24, 2009 10:16am
Ken Johnson
All my comments

Kevin Barron,

Thank you for the nice synopsis of the meeting by speaker. Saves me a painful three hour watch. 

On to the reason for visiting this thread.

Ken Johnson

Comment 10
Sat, January 24, 2009 10:19am
Ken Johnson
All my comments

Barry,

You have done a nice Requiem series of Editorials on the MCC. Editorial series often conclude with an action item - an ‘I suggest doing this’. Time has practically run out: the Board of Supervisors meeting is in Redwood City on Jan 27. The item is scheduled for 10:15 am. in the Board of Supervisors chambers.

Back on Coastsider 06-Jan-09 I suggested:

Email to BoS Tuesday, 06 January, 2009 16:08

<u>My Email to BoS Tuesday, 06 January, 2009 16:08_.</u>


‘Carole Groom’ .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

‘Adrienne Tissier’ .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

‘Richard Gordon’ .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

‘Mark Church’ .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

‘Rose Jacobs Gibson’ .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


The time for the ‘Debating Society’ is practically over - only the Mourning for the MCC is left after Tuesday.

It is time to DO something people!

Ken Johnson