Supervisor Gordon will be at MCC to speak on Midcoast representation, Weds

Updated

Posted by
Mon, January 12, 2009


San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon is planning to attend Wednesday’s Midcoast Community Council meeting. Coastsider wrote last week about Supervisor Gordon’s proposal to limit who we can elect to the Midcoast Community Council

If you’re interested in how the Midcoast is governed by the county, you should attend this meeting. If you have opinion about how we should govern ourselves, you should plan to speak.

The meeting is at 7:30pm and this item will be discussed about ten minutes after the meeting starts.

Unless we can get the Supervisors to hold a real meeting on the Midcoast, this will be your only opportunity to speak at a convenient time and place. The Supervisors will be discussing this proposal during the day on Tuesday, Jan 27, in Redwood City.

The meeting will be held at Seton Medical Center Coastside: Marine Boulevard & Etheldore, Moss Beach. Take Highway 1 to Marine Boulevard and follow hospital signs uphill. Attendees must park in upper parking lots per hospital policy. Turn left just before the end of the main driveway.


Supervisor Gordon’s agenda item will begin at 7:40.  The MCC meetings are held at Seton Hospital.  Please park in two parking lots farthest from the hospital entry - look for the direction sign on your left before you get to the main parking lot.  In addition to the first parking area you come to there is a road up to another lot on the far side.

The Board Staff report for the MCC vacancy appointment is at:
http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/bos.dir/BosAgendas/agendas2009/CurrentAgenda/20090106_m_10.pdf

Kathryn

FYI for folks to refer to the Midcoast Council’s By-laws, so as to gain a sense of their authority and purposes. <http://mcc.sanmateo.org/files/MCC_Bylaws.pdf>

Importantly, and predictably, the last couple articles on this matter are hive-poking and loaded with consternation. Reeks of Jerry Brown rewriting propositions towards his own political fervor. Let me take a moment to lift up, with some journalistic clarity, since their is one core proposal here

What the Supervisor is pushing for is recommending a resolution **to not allow individuals to serve on multiple boards at one time**, so they can govern independently (without conflict of interest) with singular conscience and edict for the board’s purpose and moreover the geography they represent (especially since the various boards/councils overlap unevenly). The reader has to wade two articles deep through ‘your vote doesn’t count’, ‘representation unrelated to excrement’, and ‘burning goalposts’.

We get “Supervisor Gordon’s proposal to limit who we can elect to the Midcoast Community Council.” The government doesn’t allow presidents to run for three full terms. I guess that was “limiting whom we could vote for” as well.

For example, Leonard and Gail represent the midcoast on MCC, but could advise on matters that benefit GSD and trounce/trump MWSD. These two folks probably wouldn’t do such a thing, but their character isn’t the cause nor concern for the proposal. This is about checks/balances and limitation of power, wasn’t that what I kept hearing being cried out for the last 8 years?

I understand the energy and passion for this issue, but rather than crying throughout the countryside for the witch’s head, explain with some calm rhetoric why multi-board serving members is good civic practicum. I understand the Supes point of view, but frankly the banter I see here (and not just this issue, but any/every anti-Gordon drivel) reeks of a high-school rally by kids hop’d up on caffeine and sugar against the removal of soda machines on campus.

To use your analogy, the supervisors aren’t buring down the goal posts down Barry, they are just requiring that you can only kick a field goal through one pair of posts at a time. You can’t be a placekicker for both teams under the auspices of providing a “good game” for the fans.

Pick a home team, in other words.

Comment 3
Mon, January 12, 2009 7:58pm
Carl May
All my comments

I’d be very surprised to learn of a county board of supervisors or city council in California that didn’t have at least some members sitting on other boards and commissions with potential conflicts of interest. There are untold numbers of such boards at state, regional, and district levels.

This resolution by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors is an attempt to dictate an advisory council that is less bothersome to a county that likes to use the coast to serve its political ends, less representative of local citizens, and less responsive to coastal concerns. Nothing better, nothing less hypocritical.

an attempt to dictate an advisory council that is less bothersome to a county ...less representative of local citizens…and less responsive to coastal concerns.

Carl,

The issue is having the MCC adhere to conflict-of-interest laws.

The County won’t tell you who to vote for. They won’t tell you you can’t run.

Or are you suggesting that qualified, representative and responsive candidates are in short supply on the Midcoast—and all those individuals are already on the water and sewer boards?

What is to stop Carl May from running and winning?

—Darin

In what respect does the MCC not “adhere to conflict-of-interest laws”? I think the issue might better be described as the Supervisors trying to craft an advisory council that doesn’t include elected members of other government agencies. It’s more of a “purity-of-advice” issue than a “conflict-of-interest”.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the real reason for the resolution by Rich Gordon is to eventually purge the MCC of some local voices who have not gone along with the Supervisors’ vision for the Midcoast (i.e.,  cramming in 3400 more houses to benefit their realtor and builder friends).

Supervisors’ Vision for the Midcoast: Double the Number of Houses and Cars

>>It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the real reason…<<

Well, then it’s a pretty poor plan. The MidCoast seems overwhelmingly made up of people who prefer slower growth.

With a population of—what?—15,000?—I bet even with the new law the MidCoast can come up with a few candidates that aren’t pawns of the Supes.

In fact, it would be healthy for us, politically, to have a “deeper bench.”

—Darin

I’m surprised that Kevin Lansing, who claims to want to stick by the rules, didn’t chime in that—according to its own bylaws—the MCC’s function is to **advise the Supervisors**.

Could it be that the Supervisors just want people who do what they were elected to do? Read the other link on MCC’s stated purpose. <https://coastsider.com/index.php/site/news/video_supervisors_legislative_aide_lowers_the_boom_on_mcc_over_letter_to_la/#6667>

If you want to change the roles, you gotta change the rules.

Comment 9
Tue, January 13, 2009 8:25am
Barry Parr
All my comments

Joel, I’ll repeat the question I asked you in different thread.

How can you defend the idea that only the Supervisors can speak for the Midcoast?

As also said before, the Supervisors are not required to muzzle the MCC. As far as I can see the only issue you have is that the MCC, who were elected by the majority of Midcoast residents, have a different opinion than you do.

>>How can you defend the idea that only the Supervisors can speak for the Midcoast?<<

I’ll take a shot at this:

In another life I was a government official. From that point of view I would have *never* tolerated an advisory group that served my agency to offer their advice to any other agency.

It would be unthinkable—it would be like the advisory group was giving advice in my agency’s name to others.

The real problem is that we need more than an advisory group to the Supes. We see the MCC as the nearest thing filling that role and want them to go beyond what they are authorized to do.

I, for one, would love to see the MCC gain greater powers—including the power to give their advice to whom they see fit without oversight—but I don’t see how shying away from conflict of interest laws gets us any nearer that goal.

—Darin

Comment 11
Tue, January 13, 2009 10:53am
Barry Parr
All my comments

I understand how the Board of Supervisors wouldn’t want anyone other than the BoS speaking on behalf of the Midcoast. My question is: *how anyone can defend that idea to the citizens of the Midcoast*?

The issue whether the Supes or Midcoast residents get to decide whether its representatives have a conflict of interest.

Are you willing to cede that power to the Supes in the hope that at some time in the indefinite future they will grant the MCC more authority?

>>Are you willing to cede that power<<

First we need to figure out when the MCC gained that power—you can’t cede what you don’t have.

—Darin

Comment 13
Tue, January 13, 2009 12:01pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

Then let me phrase it differently.

Are you willing to allow the Supervisors exercise the power to choose who can represent you without even a protest, in the hope that at some time in the indefinite future they will grant the MCC more authority?

Hmmm. I don’t like this new phrasing any better :)

You say

>>Are you willing to allow the Supervisors exercise the power to choose who can represent you<<

but isn’t that a little inflammatory? You make it sound like they are taking my vote away. All they are doing is applying to the MCC routine, pro-democratic laws that are commonplace, widely accepted, and deeply embedded in our system of government.

You can’t serve two masters. As I wrote elsewhere, Obama can’t be Senator *and* President. Clinton couldn’t remain governor *and* become President. This ideal is at the root of our political system. The Supes didn’t invent it.

And I can still vote for who the candidate of my choice, including one that may sit on another board. But if they win and are one of the ten or so people (out of 15,000 possibilities) who fall under the conflict of issue rule then they will have to choose which master to serve.

—Darin

Comment 15
Tue, January 13, 2009 1:59pm
Carl May
All my comments

Again, there is no heightened conflict between sitting on the MCC and being a special district director. In fact, any potential conflict here is, on its face and in scope, less than when select supervisors or city council members sit on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, ABAG, California Coastal Commission (which requires that some members be elected officials), regional water boards, LAFCO, SAMTRANS board, and on and on. On every such board, the potential exists for a supervisor or council member to favor their county or city or special interest backers over counties, cities, and special interests not represented on the board.

So our little coastside “conflict” is a manufactured one, a trumped-up excuse for the Supervisors to exert dictatorial authority over what should be a voter decision, to eliminate popular directors of our mostly independent special districts from eligibility, and to be in a better position to appoint people who might not otherwise be elected by the communities to midterm openings.

We elect MCC members. If someone doesn’t like the selection of candidates, they can choose to run. If voters don’t want a special district director on the MCC, they can vote for someone else. Given the two current applicants for the two open positions on the MCC, which one was previously chosen several times by the voters for the MCC? Yes, the one the Supervisors don’t want to appoint.

Sadly, the Supervisors are once again reaffirming their heavy-handed attitude toward governing us politically insignificant citizens of the midcoast. Theirs is a decades-long and ongoing effort to stifle both the character and will of most midcoasters, the better to serve themselves politically and to favor their preferred special interests (take a bow, SAMCEDA and other developers and builders). Anyone looking for a major reason why more and more diverse candidates don’t run for MCC positions and why some hard-working MCC members choose not to run again might start with that well-established truth.

I just received this note from Matt Jacobs in Supervisor Gordons office in case you cannot attend the MCC meeting:

“Everyone,

Wanted to let you know that our office will be holding office hours at the Moss Beach Sheriff’s Substation on Thursday, January 22nd from 10am until noon.  We hope to see you there and please inform anyone you think who may be interested. 

Thank you,

Matt


Save Paper.
Think before you print.”

Darin is starting to sound more and more like Rich Gordon’s spokesperson.

Regarding his “deeper bench” idea in Comment #7: Recall that there were only two applicants for the two open MCC slots and now the Supes are seeking to deny one of those applicants—the one who has voiced opposition to their LCP update sell-out to realtors and builders. So there is not a very deep bench in the MidCoast apparently.

And he writes: “...The MidCoast seems overwhelmingly made up of people who prefer slower growth…”

Not sure about that, but if true then those people need to start doing something. Note that there are some very vocal pro-growth CCWD and CUSD officals who keep getting re-elected with help of MidCoast voters. The Midcoast is also the home of some well known property-rights and realtor/builder advocates.

I think Carl May has explained what is really going on quite well in Comment # 15 above.

>>Darin is starting to sound more and more like Rich Gordon’s spokesperson. <<

Kevin, what’s with the snide, personal attacks? Is it a style thing?

I’d love to hear your short list of “well known property-rights and realtor/builder advocates” who live on the Midcoast who have any chance of winning an election here.

—Darin

There is no “conflict of interest” in serving on multiple boards.  The California law [(Political Reform Act)][1], administered by the [Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC)][2], specifies what is a conflict of interest.  Distilled down, a conflict of interest exists when an official would be affected financially by a decision made by that official.  This has nothing to do with serving on multiple boards.

Serving on multiple boards is covered under the [common law doctrine of incompatible office][3].  MCC is not incompatible with any other offices because [MCC has no legislative authority.][4]

So, bottom line, there is no law of any sort which would prohibit other elected officials from serving on MCC.  Therefore the BoS is apparently planning on creating their own law in the form of a resolution governing the MCC.  (While it’s written in generic terms, let’s break it down.  There are 3 Municipal Advisory Councils in San Mateo County.  [North Fair Oaks Council][5], which is appointed so this doesn’t apply to them, [Pescadero Municipal Advisory Council][6], and [Midcoast Community Council][7].  Other than (I assume) a school board and maybe a fire district board, I’m not aware of elective offices in the PMAC area.  This resolution is clearly directed at the MCC.)

For those who don’t know, years ago some of the Supervisors attempted to change the MCC from elected to appointed, since they didn’t like the advice they were getting.

They still don’t.

Most of the MCC members who are the louder critics of BoS policies happen to be people who also realized that the only way to slow the degradation of the Coastside was to be on local policy-setting boards, which here is mostly the infrastructure agency boards.

  [1]: http://www.fppc.ca.gov/index.html?id=51
  [2]: http://www.fppc.ca.gov
  [3]: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=california+incompatible+office&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq;=
  [4]: http://mcc.sanmateo.org/agendadoc/County_Counsel_Letter_March_25_2005.pdf
  [5]: http://www.nfocouncil.org/
  [6]: http://www.pescaderocouncil.org
  [7]: http://MCC.SanMateo.Org

Darin,

The concept of “Incompatible Office” is, of course, derived from Article. I. Section. 6. Paragraph 2 of the U. S. Constitution - the legislature.

Your reference to former President Clinton was governed by Article II and was simply without source for “Incompatible Office”.

“Incompatible Office”, Article. I. Section. 6. Paragraph 2 of the U. S. Constitution and settled law speaks to compensated office holders [Emoluments: Payment for an office]. It does not speak to advisory positions. How YOU might have run an individual committee is irrelevant. Participation on multiple advisory committees is common place.

The Board of Supervisors has the legal right to define who may participate on ‘their’ advisory committees - it simply does not make it right!

Unless and until the Board of Supervisors look to how the Midcoast Community Council efforts are supported and that due consideration of recommendations of the MCC be a true starting point to their actions there will be no rush serve on the MCC - with, of course, the exception of those who want to do to the Mid Coast what they have done to Half Moon Bay.

For my fellow Half Moon Bay residents, picture SR 92 during rush hour without any restraints as to how much new housing might go into our northern neighbours vacant lands. Can you say Grid Lock?

As to Joel Farbstein, what part of:

SECTION 1.03. GOVERNMENTAL FUNCTIONS. The Community Council is established to advise the Board of Supervisors on such matters which relate to the Area concerning services which are or may be provided to the Area by San Mateo County or other local governmental agencies, including but: not limited to advice on matters of public health, safety, welfare, public works, and planning and, unless the Board of Supervisors specifically provides to the contrary, to represent the Community to any state, county, city, special district or school district, agency or commission, or any other organization on any matter concerning the Community.

don’t you understand? Did you go to school in CUSD?

Ken Johnson

>>The concept of “Incompatible Office” is, of course, derived from Article. I. Section. 6. Paragraph 2 of the U. S. Constitution - the legislature.<<

Hi Ken,

You might want to double-check that.

I believe “Incompatibility of Office” doctrine has its roots in Common Law which predates the Constitution. Those roots go deep throughout our culture and political system. It pops up in Article 1, which you cited, and many other places as well.

So the first half of your post is erroneous and based upon false assumptions.

I do agree with you that the Supes don’t take the MCC seriously…but are we confusing cause and effect?

—Darin (who does not have a law degree and did not graduate from CUSD)

Darin,

now, are we finally in agreement that it is irrelevant whether or not a member of the advisory MCC is also a member of another elected body?

Any discussion is simply a diversion.

Also, we agree “that the Supes don’t take the MCC seriously”.

“[A]re we confusing cause and effect?”

Is that relevant to the selection process and qualifications of a MCC member and should it be?

We seem to agree that the Supervisors are using the process of being qualified to serve on the MCC as their process to exclude a class of people from ‘their’ MCC. That class of people are people who disagree with the Supervisors ‘vision’ for the Mid Coast. That class of people also happens to be the lawfully elected representatives of the Mid Coast.

Ken Johnson

We all apparently agree, “that the Supes don’t take the MCC seriously”.  So, what is the relevance of the MCC to residents of the Midcoast?  Why should we fight over this? 

Let the Supes. put their appointees on the MCC and we can ignore the MCC like many of us are now.  When the appointees run for reelection, either political pole could run mudslingers(that may or may not be qualified) to embarrass the appointees and have a good laugh.  I don’t see any difference between this new scenario and the one we have now.

The Supes. have made the MCC irrelevant.  We don’t have the votes to make the Supes. change their behavior.  It’s time to let go of the MCC and forget about what it could be, if only the Supes. would cooperate with us.

>>Any discussion is simply a diversion. <<

Sorry you think so, Ken.

—Darin

The political poles on the Coastside have battled to a political stasis or standoff.  It would take incredible political effort to take away possession of one of the special districts from the opposing political pole.  The control of the special districts is not likely to change.  The attitude of the Supes., bought and paid for by County wide political interests, are currently aligned with one of the political poles.  The Supes. are not going to concede any power to the Midcoast or the MCC.

The citizens of the Midcoast in the middle are marginalized, because the two political poles demand absolute loyalty.  Anyone in the middle is given the option of joining a political pole or being ostracized.  The political poles attack any non-joiner to preserve their own membership.  Average Midcoast residents react to this political malaise by disengaging.  The field of political battle on the Coastside is left to the political poles.

So, what of the minor drama of the MCC?  Cynically, it is just to keep the troops of the political poles engaged in the grand struggle of the political pole. The political poles are now fighting over symbolic turf, the MCC.  The MCC only has what power the Supes. will grant it.  If the one political pole aligned with the Supes. captures the MCC, they can use it as a platform to criticize special districts of the opposition verbally and in reports.  If the other political pole maintains control of the MCC, then the Supes. are going to only allow them so much of an opportunity to use the MCC for self promotion.  So, if that is the view of the MCC by the Supes. and the political poles, why should a Midcoast resident in the middle care about the MCC?

What isues has the Midcoast Community Council discussed that could have a potential conflict with the goals of other local agencies? Last year, when the MCC was being attacked for doing nothing, I put together a brief list of “Some Previous Midcoast Community Council Discussion Topics” from the previous decade or so, to illustrate the wide range of topics that had been discussed.

Here’s the same list again. How many subjects do you see where membership on the board of any local agency presents a possible conflict in discussing what is best for the community? After all, the local agencies are also working to do what is best for the community!

Community Planning and Zoning Topics:

<ul>
<li>Midcoast Local Coastal Program Update Project</li>
<li>El Granada Water Transmission Pipeline Project</li>
<li>Coastside Design Review Guidelines and Design Review Committee</li>
<li>Zoning Regulation Updates</li>
<li>Midcoast Annexation or Incorporation Study</li>
</ul>

Parks and Recreation Topics:

<ul>
<li>Midcoast Needs Assessment Survey</li>
<li>Midcoast Parks and Recreation Recommendations</li>
<li>Quarry Park and Midcoast Park Lands</li>
<li>Coastside Preservation and Recreation Moss Beach Park</li>
<li>Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space Annexation</li>
</ul>

Transportation Issues:

<ul>
<li>Discussion of Devil’s Slide Alternatives and Tunnel Solution</li>
<li>Measure T Discussions</li>
<li>Repair of Ocean Boulevard</li>
</ul>

Environmental Issues:

<ul>
<li>Midcoast Groundwater Study</li>
<li>Contamination of Public Water Supply by MTBE</li>
<li>Revised Sensitive Habitat Map</li>
<li>Participation in Well and Septic System Ordinance Committees</li>
<li>Large Animal Regulations</li>
<li>Stormwater Drainage Committee</li>
<li>Tree Ordinance</li>
</ul>

General Community Issues:

<ul>
<li>Half Moon Bay Airport Master Plan</li>
<li>Drag Strip at Half Moon Bay Airport</li>
<li>Airport Noise Impacts on Community</li>
<li>Fire Protection District Issues</li>
</ul>

Building and Permit Enforcement Issues:

<ul>
<li>Tree Removal Without Permits</li>
<li>After-the-Fact Grading Permits</li>
<li>Illegal Clearing of Lots by Builders</li>
</ul>

Candidate Forums

It is difficult for me to see how sitting on another local agency board - possibly Coastside County Water District, Coastside Fire Protection District, Cabrillo Unified School District, Granada Sanitary District, Local Agency Formation Commission, Montara Water and Sanitary District, San Mateo County Harbor District, San Mateo County Resource Conservation District, etc. - does anything other than bring informed background and expertise to discussions of community importance.

Disclosure - I served on the Midcoast Community Council for approximately 10 years.

Paul Perkovic writes:

“What issues has the Midcoast Community Council discussed that could have a potential conflict with the goals of other local agencies?”

Most here concede this is a non-issue.

“I put together a brief list of ‘Some Previous Midcoast Community Council Discussion Topics’”

When the Supes. canned years of compromise and work by the Planning Commissioners and the MCC on the LCP update, the MCC became politically irrelevant.  I look at your list and what the MCC has accomplished in the last year and the only thing I can recognize as having been accomplished in the last year is some MCC advocacy for the Ocean Avenue repairs.

The relevant issue is how effective can the MCC be, going forward?

“How many subjects do you see where membership on the board of any local agency presents a possible conflict in discussing what is best for the community?”

Most here concede this is a non-issue.

The Supes. are legally free to promulgate what ever regulations they want for THEIR advisory committee.  Just because the residents of the Midcoast elected some candidates to the MCC and the Supes. over the years showed some deference to THEIR advisory committee doesn’t legally make it some quasi-Midcoast government.  While the Midcoast voters elect candidates for the MCC,  the Supes. have the legal lattitude to set their own criteria for MCC members.  There are insufficient votes on the Midcoast to hold the Supes. responsible in a County wide election for the criteria they set for who they want to receive advice from.

Where’s the discussion of MCC **accomplishments** in the transcription of Paul Perkovic’s 15-minute MCC “discussion topics” speech? He **must** have read the Needs Assessments during his 10 years on MCC. Since he’s on MWSD, and there still isn’t a flush toilet at Moss Beach Park, what does that say about his ability to deliver on items of community importance? (Or the MCC as a whole?)

Darin,

Sometimes the appropriate end of a discussion is to ‘Agree to Disagree’.

Ken

So that was a near disaster…  no wonder why Gordon doesn’t come by often.

Ambush, stacked deck, and grandstanding come to mind. I think of the 17 speakers (and trust me, I kept score) less than 5 actually mentioned the issue at hand.. and even then, took the time to grandstand.

It was a Ric LoveFest. Which he’s a great guy, but many of you botched that. Good to see (sarcasm awry) the MCC waste it’s time and tax payer dollars to have a guy (amidst eye rolling and reminding us of his volunteerism) sit on an “advisory” board for ~8-9 months (since, after everyone left, he re-iterated that he wouldn’t run in 2009). Let’s see… draft a letter, propose the letter, vote on the letter, fight and bicker about where on the County’s agenda is lands… propose feedback,... it’s a moral victory for a guy who asked himself in public why he was doing this in the first place, and now sworn to be short-term only.

What’s the point of the exercise? Beside the MCC “playing government managing government” vs addressing a simple toilet at Moss Beach Park or whatever… to have another person say “yeh or nay” to some opinion.

What the MCC needs from Ric is intelligent feedback via local/micro input, not another person at the table giving an opinion at some macro-level item they have little influence over.

I thought this was about multi-boards, and it sounded like a retirement party for Ric.

Well done coastside. The angry peacock showed it’s feathers, and the hen of actionable results is back in the pen.

And by the way.. quite typical… **everyone patting themselves on the back on the public turnout at the MCC, and self-moral preening of how important this was to themselves** ... yet once Gordon was gone, and “RicStock” ended via Woren/Slater-Carter’s Bill Graham-like stage act of booking Ric last on the bill…when the lights when down

it was the usual 3 ppl left in the audience. Epic. The Ringling Brothers must be proud.

Please, someone with a demonstrable facility in the use of the English language and who attended the meeting, mentally as well as physically, provide a synopsis of the meeting.

Ken Johnson

It’s on MontaraFog.com.  The problem is it’s near impossible to summarize the three hour meeting.  I’m sure there will be different interpretations, like the failed attempt by, Kevin Bacon above.  But, to really EXPERIENCE the frustration of the MCC, one has to view the whole webcast in its entirety.  I watched the webcast.  It is a good example of Coastside democracy in action.  Like a movie by Michaelangelo Atonioni every moment of it has to be carefully watched.  Darin is a webcast genius.  I fear with his talent,  he will move on to grander projects and we won’t have the opportunity to collaborate with him much longer.

Ken: I attended the meeting, so I’ll direct you to Kevin Bacon’s recap above. Fairly accurate, though there were some new faces in the crowd, and some even spoke for/against the conflict-of-interest resolution. Or see my note on TalkAbout <http://talkabout.hmbreview.com/topic.php?t=3570&c=11&d=> for a highlight at the end.

I went, after the Cunha Science Fair. (A shame the meeting was on the same night.) Was that why you missed the MCC?

At least watch the video and form your own opinion. Sit through the lengthy Perkovic and Lohman campaign speeches for yourself. I, for one, would appreciate if you invested the time before you chimed in, relied less on other people’s views, and quit inserting irrelevant snide comments about CUSD. (Or you’re perfectly welcome to ignore the advice and continue to marginalize yourself.)

Ken, your comment “Please, someone with a demonstrable facility ... is out of line. 

You could have made your point without being insulting.

In my opinion, the speaker who offered the most constructive proposal was Darin Boville, who recommended giving the MCC some level of empowerment beyond “advisory”. I saw folks in the audience who come from both sides of our political divide vigorously nodding their heads when Darin spoke to this.
Making that change would not only bring the “incompatibility of office doctrine” into play it would make the Council more interesting and attractive to potential citizen candidates. I’ve spoken with several of the officeholders who have agreed that they would happily drop one of their offices if that were to be the Supervisors’ solution.

I’m not sure which is the more of a juvenile retort… this here high school homecoming of banal discourse… it’s a tie amongst the sophomore class!

“Please, someone with a demonstrable facility in the use of the English language and who attended the meeting, mentally as well as physically, provide a synopsis of the meeting. Ken Johnson”

” Vince Williams: ... like the failed attempt by, Kevin Bacon above”

You disagree, and it comes to that??

Vince, curious if you hemmed-and-hawed for 45 minutes on whether to call me Kevin Bacon or the Red Barron. I think the current ‘beration count’ for me receiving either is about 34,516 vs 33,781. So it’s close, don’t beat yourself up over it, either will do. Personal attacks vs responsive rhetoric is the norm in these parts.

My lovely wife saw your post and felt…, although Bacon is a fine actor, I’m one magnitude better looking. Take up any refusal with her.

However, Six Degrees of Kevin Barron is a much more difficult game.

>>However, Six Degrees of Kevin Barron is a much more difficult game.

I’d hope so.

Kevin Barron,

Sorry, I wrote Kevin Bacon.  I meant to write your name spelled correctly, capitalized correctly, in a context of proper grammar in order to have maximum “responsive rhetoric”.  I dashed it off quickly.  Now, I have egg on my face.

I didn’t take 45 minutes to hem an haw about how to slide a personal attach by Barry. But,  I guess that is why Ken Johnson got the editorial rebuke and I skated by.  But, I’d thought I skated by unrebuked more for my cleverness of comparing a three hour MCC meeting to watching a movie by Antonioni.  The long picturesque scenes of landscapes, the simple rural town folk, that leave you with the queasy feeling of abandonment and fear, that the tour bus has left with out you and you just might have to spend the rest of your life stuck in this town with these people, not knowing the language or their customs and actually having to care about this advisory council.  The way Darin masterfully captured and framed the cute clock just behind the public speakers heads, one could just feel their life melting away as the speakers droned on and the minute hand slowly moved…  You see, I’m really equal opportunity as far as “responsive rhetoric”.

I always thought the six degrees of separation thing was just a viral marketing scam by facebook to take over the world.

Vince… well put, and apology accepted. I was at the meeting, as I attend many others, and was a gasp of the circus it was, and allowed to be.


And… hey, don’t knock Facebook… *everybody’s* doing it ;-) Come in, the water’s fine…

I think that comment 15 by Carl May was the best summary.
My summary of the summaries
1. Loved the RicFest comments.
2. Everyone agrees there is no actual conflict involved.
3. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were dozens of knowledgeable Coastsiders who don’t currently hold elected offices who would volunteer their time for nothing so they can be slapped down by the Supes.
4. Wouldn’t it be nice if we controlled our own destiny?
5. The Supes feel that there is no conflict with them sitting on “real” boards on the Peninsula side, that make “real” decisions. The Supes have no issue with Naomi Patridge and Rich Gordon sitting as members on LAFCO and recently voting to attempt to dissolve all non-HMB special districts and unite them under HMB control.

Other notes: The MCC is the only elected body on the Coast that has appointed members who weren’t from their “ranks”. MCC appointed Joe Gore and Bill Duran. Joe stayed many years before resigning. Bill left after several months.
Charlie Gardner, who was elected, quit to go to a “real” board. The group of folks I’ll generically call “Pro Property Rights” folks appear to be in the minority on the Coastside. They don’t actually need the MCC. They can simply go directly to the Supes for whatever they need.

So.
Is everyone on this comment stream in favor of incorporation?
I’m guessing “not” and for various reasons.

Hey Ric,

You wrote >>2. Everyone agrees there is no actual conflict involved.<<

Which shows you haven’t been paying attention at all!  :)

There have been several important examples of the MCC acting in a “conflicted” way—serving the interests of the water/boards boards.

The most amusing and illustrative example (although a minor one) is the very vote at the last meeting to write the letter supporting your appointment and opposing the proposal by Rich Gordon. Three of the MCC members are directly affected by the proposal—it will determine whether they keep their positions on the MCC and other boards, after all—but they did not hesitate to vote on it.

No mention of recusal—I don’t think it ever occurred to them. But no surprise…even when discussing issues directly relayed to MWSD and GSD there have been no recusals.

Like I said, a minor but illustrative example.

—Darin

—Darin

Perhaps Darin should apply for the MCC position. Rich Gordon would surely support somebody with Darin’s views, and then Darin could help fix all the problems with the MCC that he’s so good at pointing out.

>>and then Darin could help fix all the problems with the MCC that he’s so good at pointing out.<<

Hey Kevin,

Let’s see…3 1/2 hour meetings times 24 meetings a year times another couple hours processing the tapes…what is that? 168 hours—over four work weeks—a year working for free to bring the MCC meetings to the community?

But that’s not fair to you Kevin—how could you have known that? I remember seeing you only briefly at the MCC in the past year when you came to protest the installation of a pipe for a water fountain on the Coastal Trail.

Since the MCC is so important to you you might consider donating more of your own time…

—Darin

Darin’s entitled to have an opinion without volunteering to serve. That’s the whole point of my recent rants. I want everyone on the Midcoast to have an opinion about this, and I want them to have the opportunity to vote on it.

Kevin, of course, is ineligible as a resident of HMB. But it would be fun to see the MCC send him as a replacement for Ric.

Darin,

Thanks for bringing the MCC meetings to us.  I particularly appreciate the way your webcasts allows one to pick and choose what one is interested in.

The powers that be in Redwood City have already decided what they are going to do with their advisory council.  Supervisor Gordon had the courtesy to come out to the Midcoast and explain the Supervisor’s position and listen.  The Board of Supervisors are going to keep their advisory council.  Those that got themselves elected, can stay to the end of their terms.  Those serving on local special districts won’t be allowed on the Supervisors advisory council now or in the future.

I see this as real incremental progress for the MCC.  Last year Gordon floated a proposal to disband the MCC in a letter to The HMB Review(of all places) without running it by the newly elected MCC.  Now, the MCC lives on.  The old members can pretend to be our town council, butt into whatever County business they chose and wrap themselves in righteous indignation, until their terms end.  The moderates on the MCC can be frustrated and chased away as they have in the past.  Any appointees the Supervisors appoint in the interim will be frustrated into quitting.  There will be times, when it will be tough to raise a quorum due to the vacancies.  Sounds like business as usual at the MCC.  Does anyone really think the MCC is going to accomplish anything of substance for the Midcoast in the next few years?

Comment 47
Wed, January 21, 2009 5:22pm
Carl May
All my comments

“Let’s see…3 1/2 hour meetings times 24 meetings a year times another couple hours processing the tapes…what is that? 168 hours—over four work weeks—a year working for free to bring the MCC meetings to the community?”

The MCC members I worked with on committees in the past put in a lot more than this. I wasn’t involved with it, but when there was an active Planning and Zoning Committee, it required a huge amount of background work and meeting time.

I don’t think some relative newcomers to the coastside and MCC matters have much appreciation of what went into forming it and what its members did for many years, trying to represent us before our absentee government in Redwood City.

Carl May,

What have you done lately, other than rant about the good old days?  The Midcoast P&Z got disappeared by the County as did the LCP update.  How many hours went into those efforts only to be thrown away by the County.  What seems to matter to some here is maintaining the futile struggle just for tradition and the bragging rights of, at least, we tried.

Hate to tell you this, but, you’re sounding like the local old guard.

My challenge is still out there: what can the MCC realistically accomplish going forward?

Nobody seems to want to touch it.

Rather than attempting to restrict who is eligible for the MCC and obsessing over some procedural missteps, people should be focusing on more important issues like the Midcoast LCP update, and Rich Gordon’s effort to shove 3400 more houses down the throats of Coastside residents.

The past MCC members (and most but not all of the current members) did a good job in shaping the recommendations of the County Planning Commission, but then the Supes led by Rich Gordon and Jerry Hlll threw the whole thing out and started with their own pro-development vision which some here wish to ignore in the broader discussion of the MCC’s role.

(By the way, Darin’s so-called “drinking fountain” was an attempt by the County to extend a water main without a permit which would open the door to some unspecified future development.)

>>My challenge is still out there: what can the MCC realistically accomplish going forward?

Nobody seems to want to touch it.<<

Hey Vince, I’ll give it a shot.

I think that *if* the MCC was more credible in Redwood City, if it was seen as a legitimate voice of the coast rather than the puppet of other boards, then we would be able to have a larger voice in planning and zoning, parks, quality-of-life improvements.

Those who equate the Supes with Darth Vader would think I am naive and silly—but these are the same people who demonize the Supes and then act surprised when the Supes don’t bow to our demands.

Hasn’t anyone here considered how we on the coastside must look to people in Redwood City, even people who would be our natural allies? Hasn’t anyone considered whether out local institutions are credible or not?

Whose interests are being served by keeping the MCC neutered, unwilling to let it “grow up” with grown up responsibilities—and all that goes with it?

—Darin

Kevin Lansing wrote:

“Rather than attempting to restrict who is eligible for the MCC and obsessing over some procedural missteps, people should be focusing on more important issues like the Midcoast LCP update, and Rich Gordon’s effort to shove 3400 more houses down the throats of Coastside residents.”

Which “people”?  I see people on both sides of the growth issue fixated on the trivialities of the eligibility requirements for the County Supervisors advisory council which is ignored by the Supervisors.  Watch Darin’s video if you have any doubts.  I agree with you, I’ll pass on the MCC,  it’s irrelevant.  The LCP update is relevant.

“The past MCC members (and most but not all of the current members) did a good job in shaping the recommendations of the County Planning Commission, but then the Supes led by Rich Gordon and Jerry Hlll threw the whole thing out and started with their own pro-development vision which some here wish to ignore in the broader discussion of the MCC’s role.”

So, what is the MCC’s role in the LCP update GOING FORWARD?  My understanding is it’s been taken away form the MCC?  The MCC members can exercise their first amendment right to speak as individuals just like me.  So, as far as the LCP update is concerned, I have as much political power as an elected or appointed MCC member.

Darin wrote:


“I think that if the MCC was more credible in Redwood City, if it was seen as a legitimate voice of the coast rather than the puppet of other boards, then we would be able to have a larger voice in planning and zoning, parks, quality-of-life improvements.”


As I wrote earlier, I perceive a difference between a majority of the Midcoast residents and the Board of Supervisors(Supes) on the issue of growth on the Midcoast.  It’s a pretty fundamental disagreement about a big issue.  The infrastructure here is tapped out.  To reasonably plan for any kind of growth somebody is going to have to spend a lot of money on infrastructure.  I just don’t see the Supes doing that.  So, we are going to be stuck with the mess they create.  A good example is the drainage problems on Date in Montara.  One or two homes, no problem.  Ten homes and people downslope got flooded out. 

But, I also see the political poles are very skillful at taking every issue and somehow associating it with the issue of growth. You brought up a good example of that, the T on the CCWD main for a drinking fountain on the Coastal Trail.  Just to maintain my objectivity, I’ll also provide an example from the other pole:  Why can’t the MW&SD; provide a water connection for the Moss Beach Park?

The issue is how do we separate the non growth issues and deal collaboratively with the Supes on those?

“Those who equate the Supes with Darth Vader would think I am naive and silly—but these are the same people who demonize the Supes and then act surprised when the Supes don’t bow to our demands.”

I agree.  You want Darth Vader move to Sunnyvale. But, I also see these contractors playing the violin at the MCC and I can’t help but bust out laughing.  If it’s so bad, go build in Atherton or Woodside.  If you want a $150 water meter, move to a city with a huge industrial base and 100 times more existing homes.

“Hasn’t anyone here considered how we on the coastside must look to people in Redwood City, even people who would be our natural allies? Hasn’t anyone considered whether out local institutions are credible or not?”

The County staff I have dealt with are busy, but reasonable.  They have to be looking at us like we are some indigenous tribe of savages.  I think we need to recognize our own limitations and be willing to compromise more.

“Whose interests are being served by keeping the MCC neutered, unwilling to let it “grow up” with grown up responsibilities—and all that goes with it?”

I fear the Supes actually listened to what I wrote last year about keeping the MCC as a roach motel for activists.  Better to have the opposition where you know they are at.  Now, the Supes. can just watch the roaches die off and put their own compliant bugs in later.

Or we could have a bunch of MCC members as lap dogs to the Supes.  Maybe the lap dogs would eventually build trust.  But, that could take a decade, by then the Supes could have shoved their LCP update through the Coastal Commission and we could have our wallets cleaned out paying for the infrastructure for the new homes and be sitting in gridlock every day.  Remember when Devils Slide was closed?  That was a dry run for doubling the number of homes on the Midcoast.

I think the better strategy is to recognize the MCC has out lived it usefulness.  See what forms in the political vacuum.  One idea I had was a Midcoast Homeowners Association.  Initially the members would pick an issue, like one that was mentioned at the MCC meeting, the problem of the maintenance of the eucs. and pines on County right of way on the Midcoast.  Form a Midcoast Homeowner’s Association to deal with that problem. In the days of the internet that can’t be too hard to do.  Keep it out of the hands of PCF and LCP. Collect maybe $20-$40 per household to join the association, do a little leg work, if appropriate hire some attorneys and go after the County.  If the County sees a real threat, they might actually listen and do something.  If the County sees a group with a consistent agenda and that is willing to compromise and move on, they will likely be willing to work with that group on a more collaborative basis.  With dues in the association there is engagement and accountability.  With enough money to drag the County into court or make a political contribution, there is political clout.  Then maybe that association could tackle the LCP update and represent the Midcoast.  I suspect that is the way to engage the County on the bigger issues.

I hope you see I haven’t really raised any environmental issues.  Not really looking for any NIMBY no growth paradise.  I just want what every other community in the Bay Area wants, reasonable planning.

Comment 53
Thu, January 22, 2009 1:39pm
Carl May
All my comments

The “Growth Ethic,” the notion that there must be growth (of population and accompanying development) of some magnitude or else human endeavor will die, requires Cornucopians, believers that magic supplies of what people need for their lives will always appear. Cornucopians come in all sizes. Some have large, fast-producing Horns of Plenty, some have smaller, slow-producing ones they try to pass off as “compromises.” But all Horns are works of imagination, of fiction, and dependence on them is irresponsible when the topic is human population and the material resources and environmental subsidies needed to sustain people at a decent standard of living.

So what if the Supes don’t like the advice they get from the MCC, so long as the MCC represents most of us citizens well? San Mateo County government is hopelessly stuck with the failed Growth Ethic and encouraged to stick with it by narrow economic interests like developers. The county has discovered the word “sustainability,” but the politicians and bureaucrats in Redwood City don’t know what it means. Their lack of understanding is no reason to capitulate to them just to make them like us better. If anything, they could learn about the realities of our coastal communities from the MCC. And the MCC members with the greatest knowledge of some of our finite limits on supplies of vital resources such as water and of local capacities of environmental services such as the accommodation of wastewater effluent and absorption and retention of rainfall are special district directors.