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

For Those Who Are Not Financially Astute

While his mathematical predictive abilities may not be the keenest, Councilman K. Claims to be the "Bees Knees" when it comes to Revenue Bonds.

Listen and learn, my children Web Link


That's one way to divert traffic to a competing website.

Francis, are you accusing me of "gorilla marketing"????? How cruel of you.

Perhaps the most disturbing/interesting thing about that video clip is how Rick doesn't encourage you to get the facts on your own, or to do your own research. Instead he says pretty much literally: "If you've got questions come ask the government, come ask me for answers. I'm the only one you can trust."

What makes this such an astonishing display of ignorance is the fact that this is a completely literal replay of back when he was still trying to destroy the Main Street Bridge- and when he said the same things, only to be forced to recant and capitulate when the public quite determinedly refused to listen to him and took the matter into their own hands. Those of us who said it was safe were "not experts" and on and on.

Clearly, in Rick's mind, if you don't agree with his assertions or his approach then you obviously aren't getting your info from the right source- him!!

One other note: No one I know has ever suggested that this is an illegal way to do business. LRBs are a completely legal way to finance public buildings. (They are just an incredibly stupid way to finance public works projects for a City like ours.) Go back a year and read the City's own financial report on the library- it says issue GO Bonds and if you can't do that then issue LRBs. Fast forward a year and suddenly the order has changed. I wonder how that happened??

None of which changes the fact that it is an incredibly sneaky attempt to thwart the clear will of the voters and to remove the voters from having any control over the way the library is funded.

Which is why the DPA is on the horizon. If they won't listen to the people we'll force them as a community to act whether they like it or not...

I'm terribly confused. I thought the will of the people was to not raise taxes. Not to stop the building of the library. It seems most are in favor of a new library.

With that thought in mind, LRB aren't sneaky, they are actually answering the will of the people (most at least). Yes, they are riskier than GO, but pretty secure in general (unless this place becomes at ghost town).

Additionally, could someone explain why the City Manager would not work for all the Council members? Granted, she wasn't hired by the Deb - squared, but to say she only answers to certain people sounds like it may not be the truth.

I got sidetracked.....isn't it possible that the council considers it a given that people can seek answers from outside sources?

I'd be insulted is they actually came out and said "have you heard of Google?"

" It seems most are in favor of a new library."

P-Mar- can you give me one, single piece of empirical evidence to support that statement??

"Additionally, could someone explain why the City Manager would not work for all the Council members? Granted, she wasn't hired by the Deb - squared, but to say she only answers to certain people sounds like it may not be the truth."

Sure I can- in Ms. Gonzalez' own words. This is an exact quote from a January City Council Meeting, and it is not taken out of context- in fact the entire sequence is even more damning than this simple quote: "I only work for three of you."

Most importantly though: Please show me any empirical evidence to support the idea that the majority of Half Moon Bay residents support the library as proposed.

Thanks for your dialogue!!


Define as proposed, please?

25,000 square feet, $23 million, and $900 per square foot. (And uber modern, although there are indications that the architect already knows that one ain't going to sell well...)

And for the record- the architect has already stated that the budgeted number is going to be too low.





you're my kind of people,

""define, "as proposed" please""

Mom to 5YO: "Son, what's in your hand?"

5YO hides his left while showing his empty right: "Nothing."

I wanted to understand what I'm answering.

DCE, per your explaination, I do not have empirical evidence to give. I don't think it was ever put to vote in that specific language.

My original point was merely to say that the will of the people was that they did not want a higher sales tax.

Bigsea_, Never ask a 5 yo what's in there hand. "May I have it please?" will give you the answers.

P-Mar, you are being (I think- not fighting words!!) a little disingenuous.

I sat at a table in a debate, three seats down from Rick Kowalczyk, as he said: "ITs a fact that Measure O will fund the new library, and if you are against Measure O you are against the library." He then turned to his right, pointed at me, then Penrose, and then Ruddock: "No library, no library, no library."

Kowalczyk's home, Alifano's home, and the Friends of the Library's home all had sings in their yard that said this: Yes on Measure O!! New Library.

Roughly 1800 people voted against Measure O, and an equal number voted for Measure O. So at best I'd say (from that evidence) there is no data that supports the argument that the majority of people are in favor of the Taj Mahal as proposed. (Or any new library for that matter.)

Then we have the Taxpayer Protection Act, which everyone on the planet knows is an attempt to rein in the extravagance of the proposed library. As I write these words more than 100 signed petition sheets are sitting next to me on my desk- a full 14 percent of HMB's voters, stating that they want this issue on the November (or June) ballot so they can vote on it. (With the rest of Half Moon Bay.)

And finally an anecdotal (but personal) story: I collected roughly 75 signatures for this effort personally. Of all the people I asked to sign (by going door to door) only five actually said no- I want the new library to be built. 75-5 is a pretty overwhelming statement to me, and in the absence of any data from you I'm going to go with the idea that (at best) the public is very ambivalent/against the new library- at the very least as it is currently proposed.

And to be clear: I think the vast majority of people do wish to see an updated and improved library. (Including me...) Which is why I said "proposed." Because what is being proposed is out of scale, out of character, and stupidly expensive to boot. Shrink it a little, be more economical in the design, and the issue will resolve itself.



Alrighty then.....I'll make this final comment, then bow out.

I made the statements that I have because that was what my understanding was. I don't know all the player, or who said what to whom. What I do understand is that the language in measure O was not written as being in support of a library, but agreeing to a sales tax.

You don't know me well enough to call me disingenuous (not fighting words, merely frustrated) I've been here 6 weeks, and determining whether to stay. I'm playing catch up and trying to understand, not argue.

Thanks for your time.

I'm truly sorry P-Mar- for saying you were being disingenuous.

If you have really only been here for six weeks then plainly you are working through the offerings and your questions are legitimate and worthy. What you cannot know having just arrived is the tendency for people to use multiple aliases to forward a political agenda. (Anonymous aliases for that matter. One poster who you will see anonymously uses August West, Brian, Now Pitching, and Superficial Charm- presumably because he is wiling to own his words...)

Thus someone new appearing and asking apparently innocent questions- like the precious BobinBeloitKS from the last election cycle, tends to be viewed with a bit of skepticism.

So if it helps I am now totally accepting your non-disingenuous words.

But what I will still say is this: If you can offer some empirical evidence to support your (sort of) position on the library I am all ears.

When I first got involved almost two years ago- because of a bridge of all things, people told me how it was here. I thought they were nuts. (Or delusional and paranoid...) Now I know better.

We live in heaven.

And our government is crap. And the increasingly tiny group of wealthy people who support them are equally crap.

I'm trying to change that- and so are a bunch of other people. And because the opposition likes to use personal insults, no reason, and ugly tactics (Wait until you see the response to this post) those of us campaigning for a positive change might not respond as we should to the appearance of a new neighbor.

So if I have offended I am truly sorry. A real dialogue is rare here in HMB, and I hope you will not disappear into the ether.



I see your point.

From a 'fresh eyes' perspective, in going back through some of the dialog here, I would say a level of suspicion is warranted on all sides.

Keep in mind, if you view this board from a 'views' standpoint, the community likes their drama. This place is like political WWF. The newspaper would be foolish not to capitalize on it.

Honestly, I've read articles here and visualized the writers maniacally rubbing their hands together; just knowing that the topic is going to leave a mark.

All of the above brings me to this: I exited the dialog last night because I don't wish to be part of that sport. Not that it's a waste of anyone's time or effort, but even my realtor told me not to pay attention to what goes on in here.

Unfortunately, this particular topic is important to me, and therefore, these views must be considered.

Back to my fresh eyes. Although you didn't besmirch my person, or call me names, you sort of questioned my character and intent without any evidence to suggest I was being purposely inflammatory or misleading.

You explained your reasoning, and I get it, but by the same token, even thought you don't have a multiple moniker disorder, you're not inviting dialog that is legitimately contrary to your own. This is what I meant the other day when I said people listen to you and that you have a responsibilty.

Thus far, you've made great points, but they're quickly washed away in a stream of what appears to be a personal witch hunt.

I believe everyone wants to make a difference and help the community. For whatever reason, that intent goes out the window once people come here. In here, no one in any level if government can do right.

If that was the initial intent of this board, then please, disregard all of the above. "Nevermind......"

You guys are a rough crowd. Even Dr. Penrose got thrown under the bus as spineless. Last week, she was Obi Wan....this week, C3P0.

Question: what would you say the voting demographic is here, age wise?

I say all this because, straight up, I will not be anyone's entertainment, and will gladly walk away in order to be happy. I have no stake in being right here.

All I have to do is vote. A far more worthy battle to win.

>>you're not inviting dialog that is legitimately contrary to your own.<<<

I'm sorry you saw it that way!! I specifically asked you for evidence to support your claim- because if it was there I wanted to discuss it. I welcome any and all contrary dialogue- in fact that's why I've made the effort here to do whatever possible to include you in the dialogue. There are people here who will devolve immediately into personal insults and the like, but I am personally not one of them. I welcome opposition viewpoints and discussions from that perspective.

FWIW- the reason I suggested you were being disingenuous was because you made a statement which had no factual foundation- which was in fact contradicted by a tremendous amount of factual data and evidence. As it turns out that was likely more ignorance (not willful, just circumstantial) than anything else. So we learn and move forward.

As to not paying attention- that's obviously your choice, although you appear to have an interest in your community, so that's a hopeful sign at least. I know of more than one couple who moved out of Half Moon Bay and up to the mid-coast because HMB was so politically and functionally challenged, so tuning out HMB politics may not be a bad choice to make.

The person who took a swipe at Penrose was the same one mentioned above. For the most part I just try to tune out the non-useful comments and focus on the useful ones. That is hard sometimes, but for the most part it keeps me sane when swimming in these waters.

As to the free-for-all and the enjoyment of a good tussle, I don't think that's actually true. for me personally I cannot wait to be able to detach from local politics. I have one goal: Return (or for the first time place) our local government into the hands of the majority and call it good. This place reminds me of Germany between 1942 and 1945- after Stalingrad. The war was a foregone conclusion, but they wouldn't stop fighting so another twenty million or so had to die to get to the end.

Finally the voting demographic: In HMB the vote is completely decided by the 55-70+ crowd. We did a bunch of research with a guy named Ray Tobey prior to the Fire Board Election and the Measure F and Council elections last year, categorizing voters, frequencies and liklihood of voting and the like. Fully 60 percent of the vote comes from those aged 55 and up. From there down it is fairly evenly divided between the 35-55 and and the 18-34 group. Of course the demographic is shifting every year as older people move on to whatever is next and new younger residents move into the community.



"You made a statement which had no factual foundation- which was in fact contradicted by a tremendous amount of factual data and evidence. As it turns out that was likely more ignorance"

It is absolute ignorance. Measure O reads like a sales tax increase, not a vote for or against a library. That's fact. It doesn't matter what anyone says the increase will be used for.

perrimar, stick around please,

the muckraking that goes on here is like trump's stupidly concocted scheme to add $0mething to his dialog-

not so bad when you see it for what it is,

not to pay attention to trump is not dissimilar to not paying attention here,

hey, you are smart and a good read, if nothing you'll hear some stupid rambling of a throwback to (other) times.

I'd also add this; no one is making decisions based on the silly ramblings of some throwback fool. Get involved. Six weeks? QUALIFIES in my book, six days with your attitude.



come around-no one will make fun of you, the only targets seem to be those that keep over and over tossing everything into their own aggrandizement schemes and leaving 5 million at a time to flap out there in the wind like bumbliong fools.

If you want to know what drives some of the vitriolic tenor at times,

read why things came down as they have,

in the harbor, for magda gonzalez, for tony condotti, and for what seems to be a hamstrung and ineffectual randomly placed trio that are directed by somebody.

They say their constituency supports them.

It has been proven EVERY SINGLE TIME they are challenged on anything to be woefully inadequate for the tasks at hand.

The people that challenge them are usually questioned as usurpers, newcomers, nobodies.

Over and over, small things.

Sidewalk liability, infrastructure decisions, selling public assets to pad their tenures.

They need money from somewhere.

They're gonna get it from you and me.

I get a say in what they are doing.

I hope you claim yours.

I'm not certain whom you're referring to bigsea, so I'm just going to thank you in advance for not making fun of me. I have no idea if I agree with what you're saying, because I don't understand 1/2 of what you mean :)

Trump will never get elected, because at the end of the day we still have the democratic process. He can't buy votes even though he can afford to.

I have to believe those people who are in office have some in the community who feel they're doing a good job. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been voted for.

It's an idealistic viewpoint, yes, but everyone has a right to vote, and in this case the people voted.

I don't have the emotional history you guys have, so.again, my view is different.


My email is hmbbridge@gmail.com.

If you are interested in getting together at some point so I can give you my own (biased of course) understanding of history in HMB, and how it has led us to this point I'd be happy to do so. TA really isn't the place to do that, and there is a lot, so a half hour going over the history, the people, the players, the motivations, and the like might help you to form your own perspective from a more informed point of view. (I'd also encourage you to reach out to Rick Kowalczyk, Marina Fraser, or John Muller for an opposition lesson on Coastside history. In fact in the video above Rick is inviting people to reach out, so there's your path to an alternative explanation/understanding of how we got here.)

Anyway no worries if you don't want to reach out, but if you do then I look forward to hearing from you soon.



A gracious offer, but you didn't promise not to make fun of me.

Hello perryirmar,

I encourage you to stick around too. Honestly this will be my sixth year so I am no longer quite a "Newcomer to HMB" and Talk About is challenging to say the least. I do not post that much and try to stay away from the political stuff. I fight enough about that in my own family and I don't need or have the time for online political debates. However the local issues like the fire board, harbor board, bridge and now library are important and I try to be engaged.

I have moved from HMB to Pescadero so the tax implications are not the same for me... but my daughter goes to school in HMB. I think libraries are important since my local library was huge to me growing up and back in MA the library was the focal point of tons of activities.

I support a new library in HMB. I have gone to the Friends of the Library book sales, donated money and I am generally supportive of a new library. I do agree with Wonkazoo and others that the library as currently proposed is too big and too expensive... cut it down by about 25% and you will not hear a peep out of me!

The whole Measure O thing if you were here it was definitely played by the City Council that if you voted again Measure O you were against the library. In fact one of the City Councils members was quoted on the night of the election saying there would be no library.

Unfortunately here in HMB it seems to be very much an "us vs. them" type of mentality where local government is concerned. The recent local election was just horrible in terms of personal attacks. My husband ran for a harbor board position and he would put his signs up and with hours they were taken down. It was just so mean and nasty :(

So hope you stay and join in the conversation when you can.

All the best, Terri

I copied this from a portion of HMBnewcomers post in another thread. Mainly because I was going to ask what the petition is for. I thought it was to have MG fired. Now I know better, so I brought it over here.

"Did anything come of the signature gathering for the ballot initiative to help prevent the City Council from going the Lease Bond route without a super majority?"

If LRB aren't used, what are the other options at hand?

>>>If LRB aren't used, what are the other options at hand? <<<

There are numerous options.

1) If you reduce the budget from the current $900 per square foot down to $700 per square foot then the entire need for LRBs goes away.

2) If you reduce the size by just 4,000 square feet the same thing happens.

3) If you absolutely want to do this at $23 million and 25,000 square feet the Council could place it on the ballot- for General Obligation Bonds, which are paid for with a property tax allocation/increase, so there is no risk of the General Fund not having enough funds available, or having to sacrifice other services to pay the LRB debt.

4) There may be grant funding available- I'm not clear on whether or not anyone has looked into this on the City side.

Thus the LRB initiative wasn't an attempt to stop (or even slow) the library. It was an attempt to force the powers running the show to build something in scope, scale, and design that fits with the community- or to use a more responsible form of financing if they were determined to proceed- one that would be approved by the people of HMB.



Option 1 & 2: what will be lost in terms of 'possibilities' we were discussing before? Meaning in practical terms, not visual appeal.

What is the sq. ft of current building?

Option 3 means property tax increase?

Not a thing.

7800 +/- 200


The current design is concept only though ? So, it could cost less anyway after input from community?

Thanks for indulging me. I'm being pointed because if I don't, I'll confuse myself!

Yes, sort of. The architect has been told to build a 25,000 square foot building, with a given set of deliverables in it. He has also already informed the City that the proposed pricetag for the proposed design is too small.

To this point in time the only input from the community which has been solicited is that from FOL and their supporters. In actual fact individuals who have tried to be a part of the process have been specifically turned away by the City. Thus there is little expectation that in 8 hours of community meetings the design is going to change at all.

Which is why the Downtown Preservation Act is in the final stages of creation.

No problem- I"m happy to answer where possible to do so.


It may be worth noting here that the 'plans' submitted and approved were dusted off from years gone by.

If appearance means anything (perception), one could easily make the leap that the prior Council and this Council majority were and are so intent on this legacy structure that they didn't even take the time to actively engage the community at large to embrace ideas and concepts for design. They opened the closet, pulled out what was there (going all the way back to 2001), dusted it off and presented it as a fait de compli, driving it through the legislative process with the full support of interested parties (understandably so).

One can understand the frustration of years of trying and no results to date; but isn't this suppose to be an asset for the entire coastside? If so, doesn't it make sense to get a broad spectrum of input and approval from the folks that are footing the bill (all HMB voters)?

The resources have been committed. It seems to me that a realistic and honest effort should be made to include all that will be footing the bill and living with the results.

The best way that I can think of to accomplish that is put it on a ballot Before moving forward contract-wise ($$$). If you want public input, an advisory ballot measure asking the public who will pay for, live with and use the structure just seems a natural. Or, as previously noted, the Council could also place the idea on the ballot using the funding mechanism (General Obligation bonds vs Lease Revenue bonds) as the basis to get input.

Murphy has his rules and laws. Funny how they seem to fit from time to time. One of them seems to jump out here; There is never enough time to do something right the first time, but there is always time to come back and do it again ... or something very similar.

I doubt that most don't see a desire for an upgraded or even a new library. The shame of it to this point is simply the way it has been handled to date by the elected and the extraordinary means this Council majority (and the prior Council) is willing to go to to avoid the very input that is so important and necessary - the public's.

The CEQA process has now been initiated. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It will also be interesting to see if this Council does actually bifurcate the project to "insure" their legacy; demolish the existing library very coincidently right before the November 2016 election (2 seats open up then), leaving a hole where the old library was and increasing the need to fill that hole ... with this one, of course.

It was on the Council Agenda from the last meeting, but I don't believe they took that action at that time; but I may be mistaken.

It sounds to me that the community has been for the library (in general), especially if plans to the effect were drawn up before.

If that's the case, why hasn't the thing been built already?

Deliverables in design, permit, etc. Or physical plant?

The reason I ask that is not to nickel and dime the point, but to understand what will actually be impacted.

If you've ever purchased a decent knockoff watch, you know you get what you paid for. May look great at first glance, but the first time you knock it against something, it can no longer keep time.

The original design (that is still the only working concept we've seen...) was drawn up approximately 11 years ago as part of an application process for a State Grant program. This program had a basically unlimited budget- which is one of the problems with the size- it was manufactured more than ten years ago when the sky was the limit and the state would be paying for the entire thing...)

It wasn't built because the City failed to get the grant.

After that came Beachwood, and the recession, and it wasn't until last year (oddly the very day after the Main Street Bridge Preservation Act was filed with the City) that the plan was pulled out of mothballs and turned into a political and practical football.

If the City had said last year: Let's build a library- and hired a consulting firm to do an analysis on what was appropriate for our community at large- then we wouldn't be having this discussion right now.



And That, perryirmar, is the question. The answer to that question might appear to be that a new library has not been a community supported priority, going back well over a decade.

It may be something as simple as a lack of interest, or maybe it may be as simple as a lack of education by those that are driving this now. It may be any number of things, but the effort by a few has been there since the turn of the millennium. Council member Fraser has been on it since she was initially elected. Grant applications have gone out periodically over the last decade or longer; none of which were granted, to the best of my knowledge.

I do not recall the reasons for rejection, but typically they would focus on the need vs the plan to fill that need - basically justifying the rejection noting things like; the need isn't there relative to the need of others / or the plan proposed doesn't meet the needs / or the plan isn't detailed enough to warrant it - and the list goes on.

The grant money applied for in the past has always been allocated - just not to HMB. The reasons for that have not been discussed in this, the latest attempts to git-r-dun. Maybe they should be, I don't know. Those reasons may provide some indication of what may be wrong with this proposal.

The permitting process has not been the stopping point because it hasn't gotten that far ... until now. And of course not using any grant money puts aside any possible objections or points one might receive in response to an application for them.

There are differing levels of support throughout the community. There are some, as we see, that are hung-ho to get it done yesterday. There are others that might like a new facility, but just don't make the time to really get into it. I'm sure that there are others that just don't care (unless & until it hits their wallet) and there are likely some that oppose anything new or upgraded.

One way to be able to sharpen the point on that is through a City proposed/sponsored advisory measure ... asking the constituents of the elected what they want. That has not and apparently will not happen.

One is left wondering why not, particularly when we see a concerted effort to avoid those very constituents by avoiding the possibility of yet another failure - by purposefully avoiding the ballot.

"If the City had said last year: Let's build a library- and hired a consulting firm to do an analysis on what was appropriate for our community at large- then we wouldn't be having this discussion right now."

Why ? How would it be different?

Not ignoring your comments Mr. FLIPstone, I'm multitasking.

That implies the CC listened, had open meetings and offered a vote on something so financially impactful.

Compare to just three CC members rushing a monster project through to avoid a vote of the people, given that the last vote also failed.

"That implies the CC listened, had open meetings and offered a vote on something so financially impactful."

Well, as Meatloaf said and sang about; two out of three ain't bad.

We had "open meetings" for the most part and there was a vote - but listening? Maybe not so much.

>>>Not ignoring your comments Mr. FLIPstone, I'm multitasking.<<<

OK, I'll bite...

Hahaha. Sorry I left that hanging.

I was teasing George in a different thread about his flip phone and being in great shape operating his Flintstone car.


He gave me mea thoughtful response and Is haven't had time to respond in an intelligent manner.

Add a comment

Please login to comment on this topic.

Login Here

Create a Login

Powered by Podium