What is the Midcoast Community Council?

Letter

Posted by
Mon, September 7, 2009


This Wednesday, September 9th the Midcoast Community Council (MCC) will discuss the council’s effectiveness.

What is the Midcoast Community Council? 

A.  An elected Municipal Advisory Council with tarnished reputation.
B.  Group of agenda driven NIMBY’s with conflicting points of view grandstanding to an empty room.
C.  Poorly produced local reality TV show with bad ratings.
D.  Small pack of coyotes barking at the moon.
E.  All of the above.

It’s time to get council members out of their little corners and address credibility, redefine the MCC mission and set goals. 

What do you think it would take to reengineer the MCC into a worthwhile organization? 

Should disbanding the MCC and forming a new local advocacy organization be considered as an option?


This is exactly the kind of thing I don’t want to see on Coastsider. This is just snark; there’s no information, just attitude. I’m happy to read passionate opinion pieces, I just want them to use some persuasion tactics that respect rather than insult my intelligence. Don’t assume I know what the MCC is or what the problems are. Engage me in sharing your passion by clearly articulating something that I may not know.

Above: [The MCC is a] Small pack of coyotes barking at the moon.
Alternative (and there’s no facts in my example, just an alternate way of expressing it]: The MCC meets regularly but never decides anything. Watching them shout at each other but never produce results reminds me of nothing so much as a small pack of coyotes barking at the moon.

Does the MCC clearly identify Midcoast needs and successfully shape the decisions and policies of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors? 

Are MCC meetings an empty ritual?

In contrast to the current poorly attended MCC meetings what would be an effective alternative?

What specific steps can the MCC take to improve ties to the community?

I’m interested in hearing input.

Midcoast Community Council website:  http://mcc.sanmateo.org/home.php

Comment 3
Mon, September 7, 2009 12:26pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

To be fair, the question at the end is worth asking, which is why I moved it to the main column.

The Board of Supervisors has done everything it could to sabotage the MCC: Limiting who can be on the council, keeping it from representing the Midcoast to other government bodies, gutting its work on the LCP.

But we still need to play the hand we’ve been dealt.

The MCC has no meaningful authority, but it is plagued with more personal conflict, slower action, and blindingly dull meetings than any other body on the Coastside. Is that a result of the council’s powerlessness? Could be, but that’s no excuse.

It could play a role in leading the Midcoast to self-governance. But every member of the council has to take responsibility for its failures and work to correct them.

I don’t think creating yet another civic organization is going to help.

Thanks, Sabrina, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond and articulate the issues more clearly (at least for me; I learned just enough from your followup to help me try to develop a perspective on the issue)

Comment 5
Mon, September 7, 2009 3:41pm
Tim Payne
All my comments

Hey now let us not forget that there are 3 NEW members joining the MCC VERY soon. Things may change for the better with new blood. All may not be lost.
Question for Steve. Why didn’t you make an attempt to correct the problems you seem to have by joining the MCC when you could have?

Tim - I don’t have a problem with MCC; I was reacting to a post that doesn’t help me understand someone else’s problem with the MCC. Please don’t confuse my example (already disclaimed in the text above) of a more helpful (to me) posting style with an actual “problem.”

Comment 7
Mon, September 7, 2009 6:35pm
Tim Payne
All my comments

Steve, So sorry. I miss fired. Was meant for Sabrina Brenna.

Thanks for clarifying, Tim! I think it’s easy to mis-read who wrote what!

One thought for Tim and the other MCC members who will serve in the upcoming term is to run the meetings in a more business-like way.

For example, the agenda item for the recent dust up that caused one member to walk out of the meeting was:

“Recap of Jackie Speier’s Health Care Town Hall.  Possible Letter to Board of Supervisors.  Sponsor: Sabrina Brennan”

I published the entire agenda item on Montara Fog. If you watch it you will hear only the briefest mention of Jackie Speier’s town hall in the opening seconds of the agenda item discussion. There was no mention at all of any letter to the Board of Supervisors.

What followed was largely a half hour monologue on health care reform—a sort of counter to the Jacie Speier meetings, sans audience.

Again, nothing in that discussion had anything to do with recapping the Speier town hall or writing any letter. This is typical of the MCC.

I suggest sticking to agenda items and only permitting agenda items that involve seeking information from the community or advising the Board of Supervisors. Too much time is wasted.

(Another example on the need for a more business-like approach—it is Monday night and still no Agenda is posted—although Sabrina seems to know what is on it. The law requires it be posted 72 hours in advance. So now the whole Wednesday meeting is a possible Brown Act violation. Alas.)

—Darin

The agenda was physically posted on Saturday at the legally required location and at the local post offices.  Darin maybe you could find out what the facts are before you start claiming Brown Act violations.

When council members start respecting repeated requests for time limits and staying on topic we will see a change in the MCC meetings.  This would be a good start to more effective meetings.

I fail to see how the existance of the MCC is a hinderace to anyone starting an advocacy organization.

What is the point of this post other than more MCC bashing…?

Putting aside the Brown Act issues, the main point I’m making is that the MCC should behave in a more business-like manner.

Taking seriously the obligation to post agenda’s in a manner that best reaches the audience would be good. The agenda is *still* not on the web page.

I agree wholeheartedly about time limits. If the MCC will make proper use of it I will purchase and donate a gavel and a clock for the MCC’s use. Just let me know.

—Darin

Recap of the excellent feedback to-date:

Steve would like less attitude and more content.

Barry pointed out the Board of Supervisors gutted the work of the MCC years ago.  He characterizes the council as blindingly dull and plagued by personal conflict. 

He comments on the current state of the MCC by reminding unincorporated Midcoast residents that we must play the powerless hand we’ve been dealt and suggests that the MCC might someday lead the Midcoast towards self-governance. 

Tim’s post sounds like he might be confused about who’s on the MCC. 
Note: Tim is stepping-up to fill a seat on the MCC this fall.  I hope to meet you at an MCC meeting one of these days!

Darin has clock and gavel issues and would like a higher level of professionalism on the MCC.  Hopefully the “new blood” will be better equipped to handle these fiduciary concerns.

Deborah the chair of the MCC thinks Darin should mind his own business about the Brown Act and she does not see any reason why the MCC would be a “hindrance” to anyone wishing to start a new Midcoast advocacy organization.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

In an effort to dig a little deeper and broaden the discussion please comment on the following questions.

What specific steps can the MCC take to improve ties to the community?

What do you think it would take to reengineer the MCC into a worthwhile organization?

Are MCC meetings an empty ritual?

Should disbanding the MCC and forming a new local advocacy organization be considered as an option?

In contrast to the current poorly attended MCC meetings what would be an effective alternative?

Midcoast Community Council website:  http://mcc.sanmateo.org/home.php

Comment 13
Tue, September 8, 2009 2:27pm
Carl May
All my comments

Here’s the underlying problem: the MCC is an advisory body to another entity, the Board of Supervisors, that doesn’t pay attention to the advice unless it meets with the BOS’s predetermined desires.

Until the MCC gets some distinct authority over something, it stands as a local political wiffle ball, relevant only when it kowtows to the county. This is now even moreso, as Gordon got the BOS to constrict eligibility for the MCC in order to eliminate some of our best qualified, most willing to work, and most independent local people.

Any local government based on a servile (to the county) leadership would not represent most of us. Take the county-inspired midcoast Parks and Rec Committee, a successor to the MCC’s once active P&R Committee, as a preview.

Want public interest in the MCC? Make it mean something other than a discounted or puppet advisory board. In spite of the county, it did formerly have at least a voice representing us locals for many years.

Although I disagree with almost everything Carl says in the last post (in my view its all backwards—credibility needs to come first, which leads to respect from the county, you can’t act in bizarre fashion and then complain people don’t listen to your advice) I will agree wholeheartedly that the key to the whole thing is moving the MCC into a position where it gains real power.

It mights start off with some limited form of power, maybe over some narrow topic area, but once it comes the MCC will be far more interesting to far more people than now. That would be a very good thing, both for the public and for the MCC itself.

—Darin

I’m concerned that clock, gavel and lipstick are not going to transform the MCC into a useful organization. 

If council members agreed that local control/local power is an important priority they might consider putting effort into researching the possibilities, defining the type of limited power needed and building a strong case for local control.  The council could also prioritize earning community support, making the need for local power clear to the BOS and following the bureaucratic process through with the county.

The MCC is a small group of unpaid volunteers.  The MCC has no staff and a tiny budget.  Meetings are located in the Seton Medical Center dinning room.

Midcoast Community Council website:  http://mcc.sanmateo.org/home.php

Comment 16
Wed, September 9, 2009 7:17am
Barry Parr
All my comments

Carl’s right that the MCC should be have responsibility for parks on the Midcoast. I certainly agree that if MCC had more authority, it would behave more responsibly, but that’s not the hand we’ve been (unfairly) dealt.

The county’s contempt is a fair explanation of the council’s dysfunction, but it’s not an excuse.

The MCC could start exploring local control of Midcoast parks and recreation. 

As I understand it the Midcoast has five Parks & Recreation options that would provide local control:

1.  Incorporate the Midcoast into a single city.

2.  Allow the existing special districts (MWSD & GSD) to take on Parks & Recreation authority.

3.  Form a new Midcoast Parks & Recreation District

4.  Form a Parks & Recreation Joint Powers Authority once the agencies (GSD, MWSD and possibly MCC) have acquired Parks & Recreation authority.

5.  Annexation to Half Moon Bay.


The MCC could also explore local control over Park Mitigation Fees and Road Mitigation Fees.  It’s possible that locally elected representatives might be more accountable for decisions about how mitigation fees are spent.  It’s difficult to get a conclusive report on how the County Department of Public Works and the County Parks Department are currently spending mitigation fees.

Midcoast Community Council website:  http://mcc.sanmateo.org/home.php

Comment 18
Wed, September 9, 2009 5:14pm
Carl May
All my comments

The only “credibility” one gets with current San Mateo County politicians and bureaucrats comes through kowtowing to their coastside-mauling desires and sucking up to them.

Darin needs to learn why and how the MCC was created in the first place, how it operated to represent most citizens of the midcoast for many years, and who populated the council. Yes, its advice on many vital local matters was ignored by the special-interest-serving county Board of Supervisors, but the advice was, in most cases, well-stated, thoroughly considered and professional, accurate for midcoast situations, and sensitive to the place where we live. In other words, fulfilling the original recognition of a need for input to the county government from a place it did not serve well and head and shoulders above the quality of the Supervisors’ agenda for the midcoast.

I mentioned the MCC Parks & Rec Committee in my previous message; but a more significant committee in terms of both work required and the destiny of the midcoast was the Planning & Zoning Committee. It reviewed virtually all proposals for land use on the midcoast with reference to community plans, county regulations, and the LCP. If anything, it had too much professionalism and “credibility” for the county’s liking, providing reviews that were not subject to political favoritism and manipulation because they were based on actual laws and the coastal values of the communities involved. Needless to say, the BOS didn’t like that.

Some early MCC elected members kept personal records of the futility of advising the county, counting dozens of frustrating trips to Redwood City to meet with bureaucrats and speak before the Board without being able to influence the county even slightly when our local realities ran counter to the politicians’ predetermined desires.

Eventually there came a time when the MCC gained some members who got elected on a platform of reaching out and compromising to achieve better relations with the resolutely uncaring county officials. One casualty of this shift in MCC membership during the past decade was the demise of the MCC’s active P&Z and P&R Committees. Get some “credibility” by going along with the county’s contrived, often developer-serving desires, even if they flew in the face of the facts of local geography, community makeup, and coastal law.

Is “credibility” worth having if it is of the Vichy or Quisling kind?

So, does Carl May’s revisionist history guide what the MCC should become in the future?  Should all the citizens of the MidCoast hold their breath with Carl, until the BOS recognize their big mistake and grant local governance to the MidCoast? 

All the BOS have to do is watch the MCC meeting that degenerated into a rancorous discussion on healthcare/insurance reform in which one member stormed out, to recognize we are as capable of representative democracy as feuding warlords in Afghanistan.

Why couldn’t the MCC members have recognized they were at their meeting to represent the MidCoast citizens rather than their personal agendas and have taken two minutes or less of their meeting to thank our Congresswoman for holding a town hall meeting in our community?  Now, I have to wonder what the BOS and our Congresswoman think of the citizens of the MidCoast.

Twenty months ago, I humorously suggested on Coastsider the BOS were operating the MCC as a roach motel for activists and wondered whether it is little more than our own local political theater.  I got climbed all over by many of you, then.  Twenty months later, tell me it isn’t so.

On January 23rd 2008 I was in Lake Tahoe catching up on email and visiting news sites on my laptop after snowboarding when I read Vince’s origianl cynical description of the MCC as a roach motel for activist.  This was one year before I was appointed to fill an empty seat at the council/motel.

https://coastsider.com/index.php/site/news/supervisor_gordon_suggests_mcc_has_outlived_its_usefulness/

In 2009 I worked on a few letters to the BOS.  Three of those letters include the LCP Update, M1 Zoning and the Big Wave Development.  In a follow-up phone call to a BOS staff member I was told that Rich Gordon deletes MCC letters.  Hopefully the council’s letters are being considered and not destroyed by the BOS. 

The MCC is not the only unincorporated community council that reports to the San Mateo County BOS. It’s unlikely that the BOS is intentionally running a chain of unincorporated community council roach motels.  It’s possible that powerless community councils are a convenient way of keeping unincorporated community organizers pacified and ineffective.

Rich Gordon has attended one MCC meeting in the past several years and he declined an invitation to the last MCC retreat (yearly MCC planning meeting).

As for political theater I don’t think the MCC is capable of competing with the local power players on the HMB City Council and the SAM board. MCC meetings are boring and they don’t deserve much theatrical recognition. 

In contrast to the current poorly attended MCC meetings what would be an effective alternative?

Comment 21
Thu, September 10, 2009 11:19am
Vince Williams
All my comments

I made some suggestions twenty months ago.  No one showed much interest in them.  Much has happened in those twenty months and they aren’t relevant anymore.

At this time, in my humble non-cynical opinion, The MCC has a value as place holder for a gathering point for citizens to deal with future community issues.  A place for people to meet and depending on their inclination move forward on their own or form their own organizations around specific issues(Big Wave, Parks or Incorporation).  I would encourage The MCC members to accept their place holder status and show some decorum, so they don’t undercut the efforts of other citizens on their own or that want to organize themselves.

Darin makes a good suggestion above,” that the MCC should behave in a more business-like manner.”  I’d reduce it to one word, decorum.

Comment 22
Thu, September 10, 2009 1:09pm
Carl May
All my comments

It is beyond me why anyone should give credence to Vince Williams’s notion that we coastsiders should modify ourselves to be more to the liking of a (philosophically, at the very least) sold-out Board of Supervisors with a long and consistent history of ignorant and destructive behavior when it comes to the coastside. Vince wasn’t even around for most of what I referred to in my previous message, so it would be interesting to know what, in his short-term view, is revisionist about it.

This has little to do with what the MCC seems like at the moment. What we have is an MCC without a voice that will be heard. It won’t be heard because the BOS doesn’t like what it says when it represents most of us, as shown by our preferences in election after election in our communities. There is decades-long evidence of this. Who cares if the MCC of the present meets with the behavior standards of the BOS? The BOS, as a body, has not demonstrated credibility on coastside issues for more than 35 years.

In recent years, the BOS and county bureaucrats have acted to weaken the MCC even more as a representative voice of local communities and as a source of local expertise on land and resource use. Without authority and without the structure we voters once approved for the body, the MCC has been reduced to irrelevance on any matter of substance. Because it will be ignored anyway unless it toes the BOS’s line, does it really matter if the MCC discusses national health care formulae or whether or not strawberries belong in a rhubarb pie?

The fact is, the original MCC and its committees were a much stronger voice for us for many years, even if it wasn’t able to overcome Redwood City’s boot on its neck whenever push came to shove on bigger issues. There were even a few supervisors over the years who found value in the MCC, including several on the board when the MCC was first established with locally written bylaws and local voter approval. It wasn’t the MCC’s fault when its lack of authority caused it to be increasingly marginalized and ignored by the BOS and departmental county bureaucrats on matters such as the LCP revision. The answer isn’t to suck up or shut up or act as neutered placeholders, as some members of our newer waves of midcoasters advocate.

Every candidate for county supervisor should have their feet held to the fire on coastside issues. They should be pressed into definite positions. I’m not the only one who remembers when Richard Gordon was something of a darling of the urban environmentalists when he first ran for the BOS. He’s an example of what you get when you trust campaign platitudes.

The reasons for the political impotence of the coastside becomes ever clearer.

—Darin

Comment 24
Thu, September 10, 2009 5:29pm
Carl May
All my comments

Each “wave” of compromising newcomers has been willing to give away more of what makes the coastside the coastside. Added to the indigenous greeseeds, the amount and kinds of growth they abide has pushed our ecosystems beyond any chance at overall sustainability. Some eventually absorb information from their situation and take actual stock of the place, which is to say they get away from their artificial urban abstractions and learn about the character of the land and water and how much there is of each to support our lives. Others continue in the dominant haze of make-believe, true-believing and more blinded than in the densest fog.

I didn’t see anything in this topic that said don’t respond, if you haven’t lived here as long as Carl May.  I was around when there was a Local P&Z Review Committee and a Park and Rec group in the MCC.  Specifically in my Comment 19, Carl May’s rendition of why Local P&Z Review Committee and a Park and Rec were shut down is revisionist history.

Many people that lived in the MidCoast were not happy with the amateur way the P&Z Local reviews were being run and the eleventh hour butinskis complaining about color palettes for garage doors.  Remember?  Why should the County take on the liability for amateur and seemingly arbitrary permit delays and decisions?  Where the MCC members or the Local P&Z volunteers going to get sued?  No, the County was.  Some MCC members were talking about being a pseudo city hall at the time. Many citizens suspected this was out of control and prone to influence by certain MCC members.  The Local P&Z review was quietly taken away from the local volunteers and handed to the “professionals” in RWC.  GSD was investigating increasing its charter to take on Parks and Rec. functions and members of the MW&SD; Board were publicly bandying about the idea of making a grab for the CalTrans surplus lots in Montara as greenbelts and parks in direct opposition to the BOS version of the MidCoast LCP.  Did our local political geniuses go up against the BOS, after they had a solid plan?  No, they overextended themselves and suffered a series of crushing defeats.  When the BOS brought the political hammer down on GSD, MW&SD; and the MCC, did any of our local political leaders say, gee, I guess we reached too far, sorry?  No, They played wounded innocent victims.  Control of parks, recreations, MidCoast LCP and the MCC all slipped away form the citizens of the Coastside, not because of the capriciousness of the BOS, but because of our local officials miscalculation of their grab for more control threatened the BOS.  Did the MidCoast citizens rush over the hill in righteous indignation and demand the BOS keep their hands off the MidCoast?  No, they shrugged and said, too bad, what a shame.

Of course this all can be debated.  For what ever reason the MCC finds itself with no voice and not much interest from the citizens.  What are we to do?  Wrap ourselves in victim-hood and lay it all at the feet of the BOS and spite ourselves or behave like adults, learn from our mistakes, start over and try being more tactful this time.

“Darin makes a good suggestion above,” that the MCC should behave in a more business-like manner.”  I’d reduce it to one word, decorum.”

Hmmmm- does this mean no more hissy-fits, name-calling and browbeating???

It is my understanding that the MCC had a Planning and Zoning committee that was micromanaging exterior paint color on the Midcoast about 5 or 10 years ago. This was before my time on the MCC and possibly before I had the pleasure of moving from San Francisco to the Coastside. 

Vince colorfully remembers the past as a significant loss to MCC credibility, “Many people that lived in the MidCoast were not happy with the amateur way the P&Z Local reviews were being run and the eleventh hour butinskis complaining about color palettes for garage doors.”

It has been my experience in recent years that the MCC no longer has an active Planning & Zoning Committee.  Currently the council has only one member qualified to make recommendations regarding design review standards and I don’t remember him ever mentioning paint color.

With all the critical issues facing the Midcoast I think most people would agree that our community doesn’t have time for trivial discussions about exterior paint color. 

•  Groundwater
•  LCP Update
•  Stormwater Flooding
•  Emergency Preparedness
•  M1 Zoning Update
•  Airport Master Plan Update
•  Parallel Pedestrian/Bike Trail
•  California Coastal Trail on the Midcoast
•  Green Building Standards
•  Sea Level Rise Considerations
•  Water Pollution at Capistrano Beach
•  The Need for Local Control Over Road Mitigation Fees
•  The Need for Local Control Over Park Mitigation Fees
•  The Need for Local Control Over Parks and Recreation Services
 
Has exterior paint color forever tarnished the reputation of the MCC?

In contrast to the current poorly attended MCC meetings what would be an effective alternative?

Deborah Lardi,

“Hmmmm- does this mean no more hissy-fits, name-calling and browbeating???”

I wouldn’t characterize what I wrote that way.  Further, I’d take offense, if an elected official characterized what I wrote that way on a public forum.


Sabrina Brennan,

I was responding to what Carl May wrote, “Vince wasn’t even around for most of what I referred to in my previous message, so it would be interesting to know what, in his short-term view, is revisionist about it.”

My intent in responding was that in going forward we should be guided by a more accurate history of past events.  The garage door color was not all that significant. But, it did become a slogan for some people. I figured it would create a memory association for people that were around at the time.  My main point was mistakes were made LOCALLY as they are still being made today. Our local officials need to seriously consider the mistakes they made and are making and not just play the disingenuous game of blaming the BOS for everything bad that happens on the MidCoast.  There are real issues between the residents of the MidCoast and the BOS.  I don’t want to minimize that.  I am advocating the MCC give up theatrics, long shot highly risky tactics and adopt a more reserved credibility building approach.

Part of that is the MCC not taking on more work than they can reasonably do.  Your list is awfully long.  In the past the MCC either burned out volunteers and threw them away or the BOS threw the volunteers work away or the MCC members grabbed some minor aspect and turned it into political theater.  In my view, the MidCoast citizens learned their lessons as regards their own personal time, the MCC’s leadership and the BOS.  I’d suggest the MCC prioritize these subjects and form study groups around these topics with the intent of not making recommendations but, introducing the topic to the MidCoast citizens, then holding a forum for the citizens.  In my opinion, Neil Merrileese did an excellent job of taking a very controversial project, Big Wave and introducing it to the community.

I agree that concerns about MCC credibility lead to no community involvement. 

In the past the MCC had a supervisor adoption program.  The concept was simple; each MCC member would adopt a different supervisor and build a bridge between the Midcoast and the County.  Hopefully this program will be reinstituted in the near future.

At the September 9th MCC meeting I recommended organizing around what matters most.  The MCC’s work could be organized to deal with priorities.  To accomplish goals, substance could dictate structure. MCC work groups and/or task forces could mirror a short list of strategic priorities.

The MCC’s current discussion format yields limited results; it’s simply not engaging to focus primarily on illuminating problems at televised public meetings. 

The work of the MCC could go beyond highlighting local concerns.  Work groups and/or task forces could study issues, brainstorm and research possible solutions on clearly defined issues.  This new format might go a long way in restoring credibility and effecting positive change.

Comment 30
Mon, September 14, 2009 1:37pm
Carl May
All my comments

Vince has an amusing posture of servitude to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors; but this is a problem with anyone who, when their thoughts are distilled, looks upon government officials as rulers rather than public servants.

He also grossly mischaracterizes the MCC’s former Planning and Zoning Committee. As former members can attest, this committee was much more than a design review committee focussed on the color of back fences. (There is a separate county-dominated design review committee not of the MCC, so don’t confuse it with that.)

In fact, the MCC’s former design review committee knew coastside laws and regulations better than county planners and developers. Certainly way better than county supervisors. It repeatedly tried to get the county and the developers it serves to pay attention to the midcoast’s LCP, which was frequently ignored in part on proposals for new or expanded development. Of course, this grated on Vince’s “rulers,” but it was they who were at fault for their ignorance or disdain of coastal laws, environment, and resources.

From decades-long recent history, we see only continued decline when coastsiders suck up, shut up, or benignly roll over. The compromises were made, and what was left was compromised again. There are no additional readily available natural resources to support our lives. It’s past time to wake up and take stock.

Every candidate for county supervisor needs to be grilled on their knowledge of coastal matters for which they will be decision-makers. No more vague, feel-good platitudes about the “environment,” whatever the heck the supes and potential supes consider that to be. If there isn’t a turnaround from wrecking additional chunks of the coastside and its communities through rounds of regressive compromises and takeaways, the latest Gordon/Hill LCP revision proposal being a prime example of such, we’ll have ever fewer coastal features and community distinctions to care about. That is the return you get when you approach the county as self-castrated suppliants rather than citizens with a sense of place.

Rich Gordon commented on the MCC’s failure to effectively advocate for the Midcoast community in the HMB Review this week. If effectiveness is measured in terms of how often the board of supervisors does what the MCC recommends, “then they’re not effective,” Gordon said.

MCC gets introspective: HMB Review: Wednesday, Sep 16, 2009
http://www.hmbreview.com/articles/2009/09/18/news/doc4ab113af066ec548968613.txt

At the September 9th MCC meeting the council discussed MCC effectiveness; agenda item 3. b.  Video of Sept. 9th MCC meeting: http://www.montarafog.com/MCC/mcc-september-9th-meeting.html

“...If effectiveness is measured in terms of how often the board of supervisors does what the MCC recommends, “then they’re not effective,” Gordon said…”

On the contrary, if the MCC was always on the same page as Rich Gordon and the other supervisors, then by definition the MCC would be a complete tool of the realtor/developer community.

Comment 33
Mon, September 21, 2009 1:57pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

I’m in partial agreement with Kevin. The MCC’s “effectiveness” can’t be measured by how often the supervisors does what they recommend.

A better measure of effectiveness would be how much the MCC gets done.

It’s not clear that effectiveness is the only (or best) measure of performance.  As an advisory body, I would think that representativeness would be a better criterion.

In June, I proposed the following agenda item: “Preliminary Discussion About Disbanding The MCC.” The Chair of the MCC not only delayed including my agenda item until September but also white-washed the title, changing it to: “MCC Effectiveness.”  Certainly any discussion about the efficacy of disbanding would include the issue of MCC’s effectiveness.  But any discussion of the Council’s effectiveness should not be a sterile exercise after which Council members sit on their hands.  If after substantive discussion it is obvious that the Council has nothing to show for its efforts in the way of effective actions taken by the County in response to the Council’s recommendations, then the Council should have the gumption to take the next step and disband.

Comment 35
Mon, September 28, 2009 2:49pm
Carl May
All my comments

“Rich Gordon commented on the MCC’s failure to effectively advocate for the Midcoast community in the HMB Review this week. If effectiveness is measured in terms of how often the board of supervisors does what the MCC recommends, ‘then they’re not effective,’ Gordon said.”

Put another way, if the MCC does not pander to scumbag county politicians acting on behalf of special interests, it is not effective.

I’d agree with Vince Williams on the entertainment value of the MCC as political theater, except that I realize that people are volunteering to serve in an honest effort to move the Coastside forward. Neil Merrilees, for one, seems to have managed to grok input from all MidCoast viewpoints, and get Rich Gordon’s ear. So hope springs eternal, and there are 3 more people who will soon undertake that goal.

But Carl May, and even Deborah Lardie, are making their job even more difficult. Does Lardie, in post #26, not realize she’s de-legitimizing the MCC with her comments? What purpose did her post serve other than self-satisfying snarkiness? Great, you feel better by being catty; the MCC (and we, the people ) loses credibility because you can’t control yourself. Here’s a heartfelt suggestion from one constituent to our elected representatives: CUT IT OUT!

To me, Sabrina presented some thought-provoking ideas in a new forum, an online audience. I urge the MCC, with its new members, to continue to explore creative ways (along with resurrecting the “supervisor adoption program“) to be more effective representatives to the Board of Supervisors.

Comment 37
Thu, October 8, 2009 11:05am
Deb Wong
All my comments

Thank you for posting these! It greatly helped when I voted absentee yesterday.