|One More Example of the HMB City Council's Not Listening|
Good morning. I attended last night's City Council meeting to speak to an Agonized Item (#7); That particular item was placed to afford the Council an opportunity to discuss somehow expanding, on a temporary basis (meaning at least one year) City Hall. The Item focused on two (2) options, both of which are throwing away taxpayer money, well into six digits, with no discussion on a permanent solution.
On January 13th of this year, I attended the City's Strategic Planning meeting and offered three (3) suggestions that might fit into the City's Strategic Plan: 10 wifi 2) support for CUSD busing to address the coastside circulation issue & 3) extending the second (2nd) floor of the existing City Hall, over the City parking lot, which would add roughly 2500 sq' to City Hall and eliminate the desire by the Council to rent one of two facilities that had been discussed in Closed Session for about a year.
By expanding the second floor, taxpayer money would appreciate over time and staff would have the now needed space. Seemed like a fair idea at the time. I spoke to it again last night ... but nobody listened.
While there, I took the opportunity to speak on another point that wasn't on the Agenda, the $4.5 Million missed grant opportunity that we read about in the Review: "City fails to apply for $4.5 million federal grant" / "Council authorized it but application never completed",
The disturbing part from the piece: “I [Ruddock] 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’m concerned about how it was handled based on what I know,” Ruddock said.
The approach I took was to suggest that there was much discussion around town on the matter, and there is as there should be, that maybe the Council could share some information about the $4.5 Million mistake and address any misinformation while providing some clarity. My approach was honest, respectful and reasonable. It was an opportunity for the Council to speak to waste, misinformation, and what appears to be lying by the City Manager ... which may just be a big misunderstanding, although the Review piece doesn't make it appear that way.
When I was done, I thanked the Council and turned to sit back down. Before my backside hit the (uncomfortable plastic) seat, Mayer Fraser had said thank you and called the next speaker! Not one word, utterance, peep about the $4.5 Million missed opportunity nor a peep about what appears to be a lie provided by the City Manager to a Council member about such a large and needed sum of grant money now gone - quiet as a church mouse...nothing!
The Council owes me nothing; but they do owe the taxpayers, citizens, businesses and residents of HMB an explanation. It is their duty, their obligation - yet not a peep.
And they, the City Council, wonder why folks have had enough and are taking control of matters through initiatives, and good old fashioned involvement.
I wish it weren't so. I wish HMB had a City Council that listened to their constituents and respected their constituents. I wish this and previous Councils realized that transparency is the critical key to the well being of HMB and the coastside and embraced transparency at every opportunity. Honesty is always best, even or maybe particularly in disagreement.
That, unfortunately, is Not the case with this Council and that is a very sad commentary that portends more conflict going forward.