Half Moon Bay Review
TalkAbout Start a topic Login Create Login Forgot Password  
All Categories Around Town Elections Entertainment/Dining Schools
City Council Environment Sports Beyond the Coastside Catch All
Clay Lambert's Blog Mark Foyer's Blog Stacy Trevenon's blog Mark Noack's blog Bill Murray's Blog

How Can his Happen?

"City fails to finish federal grant application", Web Link

That is the title and piece in the Review; front page online. How can this possibly be?

"In June, the Half Moon Bay City Council authorized staff to apply for $4.5 million worth of federal grants for Coastal Trail repaving and bridge maintenance. However, despite a 4-0 vote authorizing the grant work, city staff never completed the application and as a result that money will never make it to Half Moon Bay."

"A U.S. Department of Transportation official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the press, confirmed that the city did not complete a formal application by the June 5 deadline."

Although we can live without it, and I say that because we will have to now, the fact that the Council took action and by vote directed staff to apply and staff did not respond is simply negligence; negligence on the part of the City Manager (not acting) and the Council (not supervising).

To put a sharper point on the amount, $4.5 Million; that is about 35% of the HMB Annual Budget - a very good chunk of money that would have been very helpful in the betterment of HMB going forward.

Maybe, if the Council acts now, the City Manager might have enough time to do the paperwork and submit an application by June of 2016, if the possibility of those funds still exist then.

Just really hard to believe. How many of us would just space on $4.5 Million?

"Ruddock was also disappointed to hear so late that the application deadline passed without city action."

“I was talking to (Half Moon Bay City Manager Magda Gonzalez) about something else and she mentioned that she had some bad news,” Ruddock said. “She told me the city’s application had been rejected.”

Ruddock said it is her understanding the application wasn’t so much rejected as never submitted. Gonzalez did not return emails or phone calls seeking comment.


"“I was talking to (Half Moon Bay City Manager Magda Gonzalez) about something else and she mentioned that she had some bad news,” Ruddock said. “She told me the city’s application had been rejected.”"

Magda does not work for Ruddock. She only works for the "three"!! There is no need for Magda to be straight with Ruddock. Ruddock is just another pesky voter in Magda's opinion.

Besides, Magda has important stuff to do.

"Magda does not work for Ruddock."

Thankfully. Ruddock would have her writing checks to buy open space using all of the extra funds that HMB never had.

It's odd that Gonzalez would choose Ruddock to slip the news of the "rejection" to. Did Debbie have a hunch something was wrong and then follow up with the unnamed agency staff?

Why was the approval to seek funding so late to begin with?

The article leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

"Besides, Magda has important stuff to do." Yeah, like insuring the Council majority's "legacy" with well over $10 Million of HMB taxpayer money going to a monolithic new structure that neither fits the "character of the neighborhood" nor gets the opportunity and benefits of public input and approval.

Multitasking can be a very desirable skill for a top administrator, particularly in HMB. There is always something going on and it usually includes a gun to the head approach (emergency), so one can understand, I suppose, forgetting to apply for $4.5 Million.

All in the name of transparency; we can watch as this Council end-arounds the public they serve, to the tune of one year's annual budget, pushing their desired new library while keeping the ideas, input and approvals away from the very folks that will foot the bill; HMB residents and businesses - while either forgetting or ignoring the Council direction to apply for the $4.5 Million in grant money.

Business as usual isn't as easy as it looks, is it? Pesky public.

"Ruddock would have her writing checks to buy open space..."

Sounds good to me.

Considering the number of "project managers" and consultants that the City now has at its disposal that is more than a little disappointing. Especially when you consider the value of the trail not only to Half Moon Bay residents but to the folks that come visit us - and THAT is something the State takes into consideration when awarding these. Losing $4.5 million? I can't think of a single reason why that's OK.

+1 Kendall; well said, and nothing to add.

It is really to bad that this information was not available sooner so that it could have been aired at last night's Council Meeting,

Perhaps when the Council was awarding raises to the stagg,

Not to beat a dead horse forever, but this type "story" is very likely at the root of this: Web Link

High turnover is a signature of HMB City management. That management is, of course, put in place by the City Council - which oddly enough hasn't seen the turnover that 'staff' has over the years. Can anyone say term-limits?

I mention this because a) it is way too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence (turnover) and b) this does speak to the core issues HMB faces now and going forward.

The City Manager is hired by and "serves" at the pleasure of the City Council. The City Manager's job is very similar to the CEO position at a (pick one) company. The City Manager answers to the Council - ALL the Council, despite versions and statements to the contrary.

There is absolutely No Excuse for missing a $4.5 Million grant opportunity - NONE whatsoever. Kendall summarized it nicely just above, but all comments are fair, so far. In fact, one could easily argue that the HMB City Manager is getting off easy ... and she may be - for now. But you can bet that this slick oversight will come back to bite any incumbent that has designs on running in the November 2016 City election ... as it should be.

What goes around comes around. It's called Karma. So, as has been the clear pattern in the past, we should expect this Council majority to either blow this latest oversight off, or take the heat for a short time, then stand firm on they're 'we're leaders, elected leaders & we make the tough decisions'. Staff is great and don't talk about them that way ... sort of behavior.

This coastside is finally going through a political change. It has been long overdue and is taking time, but it is here.

1) First we had the very unfortunate but also very successful recall of the Fire Board majority that was telling us what They wanted as opposed to asking us what we wanted and actually listening.

2) Then came the Main Street Bridge matter. That too was a bully effort, built on lies and assumptions that turned out to be just that; lies and assumptions - all misplaced. The verdict there was identical to the Fire Board majority recall 65%-35% in our favor. Resounding!

3) next was the SMC Harbor District where the Manager was relieved of duty and two of the three incumbents, the worst of the bunch, were thrown out of office in overwhelming style. The numbers were impressive.

4) Simultaneous with the SMC Harbor District change was a change in the HMB City Council (same election cycle) where one very long time member didn't run and two new members were elected. The one incumbent that squeaked in did so exactly as stated; squeaked in. I was hoping he'd take the hint and change his approach to a more electorate friendly manner, but I haven't seen that change, yet. He was the same member that said Vote Yes on O if you want a new library. We know how that turned out.

5) the next issue to draw the public's attention and ire was the monolithic new $24 Million library, which would not fit aesthetically into any part of HMB, but it is grande, isn't it? The jury is still out on this one, but it has been very clear that this Council's majority is Hell bent on spending that money and enhancing what they feel is their 'legacy'. We'll see about that one.

6) and now this. And this is all within the last few years! There is more, of course, but I'd say these highlights are enough to plant a flag in.

Something needs to be done toward some measure of accountability. This should not have happened and the cost of this loss needs to fall on someone's shoulders.

Those that know me know that it is my preferred position to start at the top and work from there. That, then, would place the City Manager and all five Council members under the spotlight.

Let's see who blinks first; who sees this as an opportunity to fix a chronic problem ... and that's what it is, imho; an opportunity. I sincerely hope it is not squandered.

Background note: The original article and all its comments were deleted and replaced. However Tyler Durden provided this link to the original: Web Link

The newer article: Web Link

Magda's gotta go

Add a comment

Please login to comment on this topic.

Login Here

Create a Login

Powered by Podium