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A Few Words From A “Weak Man”

The September 15th City Council meeting was one for the ages. That’s not to take anything away from any of the others, but last night’s meeting was full of surprises.

I would start with a well deserved Award and positive recognition of the HMB City Clerk, Siobhan Smith. Ms Smith was recognized last night by AFOG (Advocates For Open Government), with a well deserved (and beautiful) Award during the Public Forum part of the meeting. Ms Smith has served HMB with the utmost in professionalism day in and day out for over 20 years, and through 15 administrators; not easy, but she has and has done an exemplary job.

Shortly after that presentation, I addressed the Council with a prepared presentation. I had to struggle to get the opportunity as the Mayor had passed on my request (blue card submitted). After a brief back and forth, Mayor Fraser acknowledged my turn to speak with an “OK, quickly”.

It was then that I stepped to the podium and offered my presentation. Below, I have the presentation for those interested. I am posting it to help anyone interested to understand what happened shortly after my presentation; something so bizarre, so unbelievable that I think it important to provide all that transpired before the incident to help in understanding the incident itself:

“Good evening,

There seems to be a problem here. Further, it seems to be a constant. I’d like to address it, in part, here tonight.

At the last Council meeting, I once again stood at this podium and pitched a softball in an attempt to get discussion and clarity on what many believe is a serious issue. My attempt was ignored, unfortunately.

The Review published an article on August 19th on the City’s failure to receive a $4.5 Million trail grant. The piece was titled: “City fails to apply for $4.5 million federal grant” / “Council authorized it but application never completed”

In the piece, the Review Editor states that the Department of Transportation, the grant provider, never received the grant request! Further into the piece, Council member Ruddock is quoted as stating that the City Manager told her the grant was “rejected”; “She told me the city’s application had been rejected.”

We all make mistakes; but that is not the point here. The point here, as most see it, is what is now being described as “TrailGate”, which is a spinoff of Watergate. We all remember Watergate, not as a break-in issue but rather as an abuse of power issue - one that brought down the President of the United States.

A mistake would be to not have applied. But this goes deeper than just a mistake.

The grant provider states the application from HMB was never received, yet the City Manager said the grant was “rejected” two months after the fact. It can’t be both ways.

At the last Council meeting, I stood at this podium as I have so many times before and pleaded with this Council to address the matter, to set the narrative and to clear up any misconceptions for the benefit of the public. The Council chose to ignore my request. Many wonder why?

So, I am here again, asking this Council to address the matter, again. You of course can just ignore my request again, or you can address it. Any attempts to sweep it under the rug will not lessen the loss of $4.5 Million, which is a substantial amount of money that would have benefitted both HMB residents and visitors, nor the apparent misinformation by the City Manager.

So, bluntly asked: which is it? - was the application denied as the City Manager stated or was the application never filed, which would mean the City Manager mis-stated the facts?”

“Perhaps you can also take this opportunity to shed some light on why our dedicated City Clerk hasn’t been in the office for over two weeks.

In closing, I’d like to recognize a beloved HMB resident and fighter for honest, open government; Ozzie Monteiro, who underwent surgery today to remove an aggressive cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with Ozzie and his family.

Thank you.”

That concludes the presentation. Here is a link to the video of the meeting to supplement and enhance the developments: Web Link The presentation efforts start at about the 1:05+ mark.

Somehow, from these meager beginnings, “mayhem” (as someone called it) did in fact ensue. I will come back and continue with more later.


Comments

I’ve brought us up to the point on interest/concern with the above. That is all the background of the evening to the event that occurred next.

After concluding my presentation, I sat back down. Within a very short time (a minute or two), Mayor Fraser, with an apparent acknowledgment from Council member Muller (subtle, but there on the video), called for a break in the meeting and got up out of her seat. She walked toward the audience, stopping about 1/2 way to remind everyone that the meeting was on a break, and walked over to me. She bent over and asked if I would step outside.

Usually, it is a given that when someone asks you to “step outside”, that nothing good can come of it. Last night held form, but when the Mayor asks you to step outside, what is one to think? What is one to do? She stopped the public meeting to do this. So, with a split second’s thought, I said sure, and followed Fraser outside through the west exit.

Once through both doors, Mayor Fraser spun around, shook her finger in my face and started out both firmly and gruffly telling me “You leave Siobhan alone”. She then proceeded to tell me what else to do, which I wanted no part of - so I told her I didn’t need her to tell me what to do … who did she think she was … while turning to escape back into the building (and beyond). It was then that Mayor Fraser grabbed my arm and spun me back around to face her, while barking out more orders.

I was and still am absolutely stunned. What was she thinking? What gives her the right? Who does she think she is?

I broke her grip, and she has one too, and quickly headed back into the building. As I reached the inner door, Fraser followed and called me “a weak man”. Not only had I been assaulted by the Mayor of HMB, now she’s calling me names to boot - and halted a public City Council meeting to do all this?! So middle school and with no provocation … not that that would make her performance any better.

The Review has published a piece on this matter: “Mayor accused of grabbing opponent outside meeting / Charge results from heated conversation”, Web Link

I’m not sure, really, what to do. While this was going on, Council member Muller was chasing down the Lt (Sheriff) telling him to remove me from the meeting; that I was disrupting the meeting! Nice teamwork.

I’ll add more later. This entire matter is really hard to believe and even harder to understand. And these are the folks that spend our tax money and make decisions that impact our lives daily?


George when Marina said, "you leave Siobhan alone". What does that mean?? When I watched the tape, the plague for Siobhan looks like a nice gift.


Seal, the best and only response that I could possibly offer to your (logical) question is - I have absolutely no idea. If you want an answer to that question, you will have to ask Mayor Fraser.

I do not portend to know, let alone understand, what transpires in Mayor Fraser's mind ... as may be evident by this thread and the incident itself.

The plague (Award) for Siobhan from AFOG is absolutely beautiful. It was/is AFOG's inaugural Award. With Ms Smith being the first recipient, the bar is set very high. Those are and will be hard shoes to fill or match. I am looking forward to getting it to her.

She is so deserving of the positive recognition that she has more than earned.


George, I've known you for near on two years now (I know- the blink of an eye...) and I think Marina got it wrong.

I prefer to think of you as "strength challenged" rather than weak.

I hope this will help Marina and you to a better, more functional communication paradigm in the future.

Your intellectually deficient pal,

dce


I am so sorry George that you had to deal with such disrespect from Marina. You offer so much to the city.


Seal, I appreciate your kind comments, but I'll live. The expert team of medical consultants has assured me that I will play the piano again ... which is cool because I've never played it before!

The real issue here and the one that is extremely disturbing to us all is how HMB is being run. I can't explain it.

We deserve better. Further everyone and anyone should feel 'safe' at any Council meeting. That, for me anyway, is no longer the case. That is more than unfortunate and a telling commentary.

I guess the logical question at this point would be - Who's next? - and what, if any, will be the justification then?

I can add one more point here for the night; the next time I hear the HMB Mayor suggest or announce a break, I'm leaving pronto!


George, it's great to see that you have retained your sense of humor.

As others have expressed, this is simply the most recent demonstration of the bullys who run our City.

The only acceptable thing for the Mayor to do is resign. She has destroyed the dignity of herself, her position, and our City.. Let's hope she has enough concern for our city to do so.


Once again, Mr Bills, you raise good points. Frankly, I'd be somewhat satisfied (me personally) with as public an apology as was the cause. I'm not holding my breath, however, and there is a reason.

The elephant in the room is the extreme. It doesn't seem to matter which 'side' is in control (and it is all about control), both sides push to the extreme and beyond. It is obvious that a very large part of the problem/issue is personal. That is a huge problem and it creates its own environment.

A good example: during the unfortunate, but necessary Fire Board recall, I happened to be speaking with a Council member. The conversation turned to the recall. This Council member was against the recall. Want to know why? Because this Council member stated that s/he "hates John Lynch". When I responded with "but what about the facts?", the response I received was F*^@ the facts; I hate John Lynch and I', voting No on the recall."

How does one argue that point? How does an elected get to that point? What does that say about our elected? This particular Council member was simply talking the company line, and we all got a taste of that (in full) during the recall, complete with robo-calls and more.

What happened at the last Council meeting is just another in a string of 'this is My town' actions. That Fraser felt the need to get physical vs being patient and setting up a chat over coffee (for example) tells us the level of frustration our Mayor (and her companions) are feeling. The only reason they feel as they do is personal - and there is simply No Room for that thought or behavior from our elected - None.

Let's not forget that Council member Muller was running around after the Sheriff's LT that was there telling him to remove me from the meeting; that I was being disruptive! What a team, huh?

Me, disruptive? As I recall, I was sitting in the front row minding my own business when Fraser called for a meeting break and hurried over to me, asking me to step outside. Yet Muller wanted me arrested! Go figure. One lies and the other swears by it?

We so desperately need leadership. The void is killing us. We need elected that listen. We do not currently have that. We need elected that hold staff accountable. We do not currently have that - and that was demonstrated in spades at the same meeting.

The City Manager blew it on a $4.5 Million trail grant; then apparently lied about it. So what does this Council do about it, particularly after the public, multiple times, questions the matter? Nothing...absolutely nothing. They sat there as the City Manager, doing her best at damage control, gave her own unchallenged version of a timeline of events ... and not a peep after that (until the Mayor took it all to the next level.

Further, and this is unbelievable, but it appears that this Council, unlike previous times, has suggested that the City Manager hire her own consultant to give her a review! Really!

This Council appears completely disengaged and totally out of touch with the electorate. It is time for the public to step up and be counted. The conditions at City Hall are out of control and getting worse. Micro-management has taken a front seat and the pressure being felt by 'staff' is enormous, uncalled for and unacceptable. It all starts from the top, the City Council - and as they say; stuff runs downhill.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could actually speak With our Council? Wouldn't it be nice if the Council actually listened? Wouldn't it be nice if we could all work together, starting with robust discussion and all the way through to resolution of the majority?

Oh, I'm sorry - it looks like I was distracted with a dream.

The event at the last Council meeting is merely one more, in a string. Want another example: how about the proposed library. Will the majority get input on that huge structure with an equally huge price tag that locals will pay? That would simple require placing it on the ballot.

Ain't gonna happen. Why? Because apparently we are here to serve our elected. I must have missed that civics class.


>>>Wouldn't it be nice if we could actually speak With our Council? <<<

You can meet with the Council- every week if you wish. (Or at least with the two Council-members who are willing to put themselves out there in public...)

Every Thursday at 11 AM at PastaMoon both Deborah Ruddock and Deborah Penrose sit with anyone from the public in the back room at Pasta Moon. Anyone and everyone is welcome at these meetings- usually there are between ten and fifteen people in attendance, although today there were roughly 20 people.

In actual fact more people attended this morning's meetings then attended the Council Meeting where you were so unceremoniously ejected.

Think about that- the public is so interested in being involved in the process, but so disenfranchised by the dog and pony show at Council meetings, that more of them are actually showing up to open, public exchange of ideas with two Councilmembers than are showing up for actual City Council meetings.

Cheers,

dce


I just looked at the Review's online front page. Two things stood out; 1) the piece the Review did on this matter is no longer there & 2) the Mayor has finally responded. It seems she is either in Denial, a very popular place with some, or has an issue with her short term memory.

Here is the link to the piece: "Mayor offers her account of meeting incident", Web Link

An excerpt: “I probably spoke a few words to him,” Fraser said. “He was yelling.”

Another: "Fraser characterized the incident differently."

“I don’t know that I touched him,” Fraser said. “We were standing next to each other (and) he was flailing his arms.”

The only thing that could possibly be considered "flailing his arms" is when Mayor Fraser had that death grip on my left arm and I was trying my best to extricate myself from both her grasp and presence.

Mayor Fraser has succumbed to bullying, then lying about it.

This will not go away, Mayor Fraser. “I don’t know that I touched him,” Fraser said." Think about that for a moment; she doesn't know? Really?

I do know and have provided an accurate an honest accounting of the entire incident. I will say a prayer for the Mayor in the hope that she comes to her senses.


George,

I am so sorry that this occurred. I am sorry that Mayor Fraser will now lie and defame you and apparently the HMB Review will go along with it as well. It just makes me sick.

Again thank you for all your have do and have done for HMB. Terri


Where are all the comments left by the public under the HMB headline on this story? I think there were 17, last I looked.


Hello Seal,

Perhaps they were removed by the HMB Review staff at the request of the majority City Council members. This is so unfortunate. Terri


Actually I think Bill and Clay were probably trying to assure continuity. They updated the story with the Mayor's "explanation" and they gave it a new title as a result. All of the comments are there- just go to "Trending" on the right side and you'll see the story at the top.

I see why this is difficult for them- if they provide continuity but update the story it gets confusing, and if they write a completely new story it kills all of the previous comments. No idea how to fix it, but I am certain this isn't anything nefarious on the part of the Review...

Cheers,

dce


What I'd love to know is why is a story that is "trending", getting a lot of views from interested folks, not on the front page?

I'm not a tech guy, so please have some mercy if it is all about tech.

This incident is, imho, more important than say Mac Dutra Park, as one example. But then, that's just my opinion.


George - you may want to suggest he reconsider this clean up;

The Mayor might want to reconsider what it is she remembers before we are done cleaning up the audio from the confrontation. Soon all will know what was said by the Mayor.


Mid-remembering served the Kowalczyks well in the tea tossing incident. It looks like the Mayor has adopted the same strategy.


No. I'm sorry. I wasn't clear. What I mean is, once video or audio is "cleaned up" It's pretty much lost it's integrity.


There were an awful lot of cameras and audio at the meeting. It is my hope that enough can be "cleaned up" to provide a clear telling of the incident.

If/when we get to that point, somebody will have some explaining to do. That moment will be an interesting moment and I look forward to it.

Bullying, intimidation and assault should not be associated with or in any way be a part of "leadership".


We get the cast-offs, and Farmer John doesn't seem worried.

Web Link

"Half Moon Bay Mayor John Muller said Friday he knew East Palo Alto decided to not renew Gonzalez' contract and that residents there complained about her, but his city saw a different side of her and values her experience.

Gonzalez worked a few years ago with Half Moon Bay on contract assignments involving economic development, finance and other projects. City officials and staff were impressed by her "professionalism" and "strong ethics," Muller said.

Muller said he hopes Gonzalez can begin working within 30 days; a start date is expected to be announced at the City Council's Aug. 19 meeting, when it is expected to approve her contract.

"I think she'll be a wonderful fit for us in Half Moon Bay," Muller said."

HOW'S THAT FIT WORKING FOR US NOW FORMER MAYOR MULLER?

Maybe the reason the City Clerk has not been heard from is because she has "Lawyered up" and will file for a Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit.


Web Link

(Past) City Manager Magda Gonzalez, of East Palo Alto accused "favoring" Developers.

Web Link


>>Mid-remembering served the Kowalczyks well in the tea tossing incident.<<

It's odd, some of the similarities. A one-on-one takes place at a city council meeting yet no one else sees it. The offenders are a council member or spouse thereof. The victim was minding his own business at the time; the incidents were fully instigated by the offenders. The action is denied by the offender. Words are recorded but hard to hear, and denied. After the incident the unfortunate recipient is further criticized. No apology forthcoming.

No, it's not to the level of the Kennedy-Lincoln coincidences but it's a trend, and a bad one.


I've had the better part of a week to think about what happened and try to apply some reason &/or logic and I keep coming up empty.

Was Fraser, for some unknown reason, disturbed about the AFOG Award presented to Siobhan? None of the Council members chimed in to congratulate Ms Smith for her unparalleled accomplishments. Not one word from any of them on what a great job she's done day in and day out, week in and week out, year in and year out for over 20 years, despite 15 different City Managers. Ms Smith is always on her game - always.

Was Fraser mad that I was asked to accept Ms Smith's Award in Ms Smith's absence? Was Fraser upset that the City didn't provide the Award? Was Fraser angry that AFOG, who consistently advocates for open, honest and transparent government gave Siobhan the (very well deserved and beautiful) Award without coordinating it with her? Was she angry that she or the Council weren't in the lead on this?

In my presentation, which is posted above, I provide one sentence - one sentence inquiring about Ms Smith's absence, asking the Council to share why Ms Smith hasn't been in the office for over two weeks. They all obviously declined to respond to the one sentence inquiry.

Of the three minutes I was grudgingly provided to speak by Fraser, 95%+ was about the missed $4.5 Million trail grant which certainly appears as a cover-up now. Further, as anyone who reads the presentation can see, I call it TrailGate. I do that because it is clearly a cover-up and a huge lost opportunity. The shame of it is two-fold; 1) that we missed the opportunity to infuse some real money into our coastal trail which would benefit residents and visitors alike. 2) Further, that the missed opportunity was lied about by our City Manager. Missing the opportunity is one thing; lying about it is altogether different and an immediate termination event. Furthermore, this Council allowed the City Manager the opportunity to create and deliver her own very awkward and clumsy accounting of the matter - unchallenged! Not one question!

And, for the cherry on top, this Council has told this City Manager to hire her own consultant to perform her review! And not one peep from any of them on the missed $4.5 Million lost opportunity, the absurd explanation provided months after the fact by the City Manager, the apparent lies and cover-up over the matter, nor the self-promotional self hired consultant review - and I get taken outside and scolded and manhandled by Mayor Fraser about Siobhan!?!?

Go figure, cause I sure can't. Something sure doesn't smell right here.


George, you are to be commended for the judicious, temperate manner you've exhibited in dealing with a corrupt, desperate mayor and city council majority clearly on TILT.

The Review has passed on pursuing the issue of about what could have possibly motivated Fraser's weirdness, but the questions you raise are spot-on. The light you and others have been shining on the council's (and staff's) misbehaviors are causing the rats to scurry. Bravo.

Siobhan is a jewel. I hope she hasn't bailed because of the abuse and madness, but no one could blame her if she's had enough. We all have.


In 13 months Fraser and Muller are up for reelection, should they decide to run again. I do know that HMB voters have long memories. George you are not a weak man.


Seal, it is your question from above - "George when Marina said, "you leave Siobhan alone". What does that mean??", Seal, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on September 16, 2015 at 4:45 pm, that hits the nail. What did she mean?

Again, AFOG presents their Inaugural "Award for Transparent Government" to Siobhan, who is most deserving of positive recognition and I mention, in one sentence, that the Council offer some explanation as to why she hasn't been in the office for over two weeks ... and Fraser gets physical. Why? How does one or both of those occurances lead to "You leave Siobhan alone"? It doesn't add up. To that point, everything was as positive as it can be (except for Siobhan not being at work for over 2 weeks).

So does that mean there is something (else) this Council is trying to cover-up? There is no question that Siobhan is an open nerve with at least Fraser and Muller. Why?

I honestly felt as though I was being reprimanded for looking at the girlfriend of another guy - like high school stuff, really. And Fraser was't talking, conversing, initiating a dialog or interested in anything I had to say or offer. She was entirely bent on telling me what to do, at just about any cost (assault), to completely dominate the "discussion" She initiated.

jess sayin is 100% right - "Siobhan is a jewel." She is simply the best, both as a City Clerk and as an individual.

Like I said above; Something sure doesn't smell right here. It seems fairly clear to me that this is one more matter that the HMB City Manager is smack dab in the middle of and that is not a good thing. Further, as as has been mentioned before, 'staff' has been explicitly told not to contact Siobhan.

Why is that & what is Fraser's (& Muller's) problem? In the meantime, who from this Council is going to challenge the City Manager on TrailGate, the $4.5 Million missed opportunity and cover-up along with the City Manager's instructions to hire her own consultant for her review?


"They" probably can't say anything if there are lawsuits pending. That is my guess.

You would think they could at least say they have been advised not to say anything because of pending legal action, but....hey, since when do they want to even let on there "MIGHT" be dirty laundry behind-the-scenes?


To the best of my knowledge, there has been no action taken legally, yet.

That's part of the whole point, I would think. What happened? That is the question. If there is potential for litigation on a personnel issue, that might explain why the Council is not talking publicly about the matter; but we know something has happened with/to the City Clerk. We know that she has been out of City Hall for about 3 weeks now. We know that there is no litigation or legal action taken by either party, yet.

What we don't know is what happened with Siobhan, why it happened, and how any of that would possibly relate to Mayor Fraser climbing my frame, unprovoked and including assault, name calling and demands, fiercely telling me to "leave Siobhan alone".

Where did all that come from, why did Fraser start a conflict and act as she did and what exactly is going on at City Hall?


Good thought Cid, but an incomplete one I think.

If the Council has discussed this personnel action either in closed session or with the City Attorney (and even if they haven't) a Councilmember is not at liberty to speak about anyone who works for the City- within the context of their job at the very least.

Thus when Marina took George out to the woodshed to speak to him about Siobhan Smith (as is patently obvious from the details we now have) she very publicly violated a number of CA codes.

When a Councilmember is reburied to keep their yap shut (as was and remains the case with Ms. Smith) then they are not allowed to open their yap. Period.

Of course no one here in HMB has any expectation that any of these intransigent efforts will be enforced- that's the way its been here forever, and it isn't going to change until November 2016. (at the earliest.)

Cheers,

dce


The answer is obvious. George, the pain in your arm from being grabbed caused you to miss a little bit of Mayor Fraser's utterance. I'd wager she didn't say "leave Siobhan alone" and she actually said "leave the issue of Siobhan alone".


Strong man listen get learn. Fragile man excuse make ant hill obstacle.


I won't speak to what the actual intent was of either party when they engaged in their dialog.

My question is, could it be possible that it was a misunderstanding on both sides? AND, has anyone checked in on Siobhan? Is she ok?

I don't think there was a privacy breach if the dialog is as stated above, btw. We live in a magical place, but let's face it, it's not a Harry Potter novel. I don't think speaking ones name will net bad juju, or breach of privacy.


Hi perryirmar,

Siobhan is aware that the community is here for her- of that much I am certain. Given the sensitivities involved I believe that everyone is giving her space to deal with this situation as she sees fit.

I've been under the weather for a couple of days and have thus had time to chew on this one, and I think the course going forward is remarkably clear- and simple.

Given that:

1. Marina isn't going to resign.

2. Whatever guilt (or innocence) may be present on the "gifted" Giants tickets the odds of getting any law-enforcement agency interested are exactly zero.

3. The rest of the majority will close ranks around her. (As they did from the first seconds, when Muller gesticulated wildly at the cop to get Muteff out of the room. Which is funny really since Muteff was leaving, and it was Fraser who had come running back into the room screaming at him...)

Given all of the above it seems self-evident to me that despite our collective outrage (or amusement) there is literally nothing that can be done right now- the only way she goes before next November is if she resigns, and the odds of that happening are (IMHO) exactly zero.

Thus the best thing possible is to add this saga to the list of things to bring up next year during election season, and otherwise let it go for the moment. (Gone but definitively not forgotten...)

Just my .02 as always...

dce


Marina's frantic grasping act is a gilt-edged invitation for George et al to continue to hammer away at the very subjects frosting her cake: the fate of Siobhan, the city manager's various failings, the mayor's unreported Giants tickets contributions-in-kind, etc. etc. etc.

In other words, keep digging and hammering away. You're finding paydirt.


It's probably best to just ignore the sycophants that have a very consistent pattern of behavior of supporting this Council majority. We saw the same posture going back to the successful Fire Board majority recall and the Main Street Bridge, to name a couple, and it demonstrates the weakness of their position.

As an example: Itisjustme is a moniker we've seen before both on the real and again on the Main Street Bridge matter. This particular individual, bless his little heart, doesn't seem to be too bright - but he doesn't let the complete lack of knowledge and understanding get in his way, which only amplifies the matter instead of either just being quiet or trying to be logical in dealing with the matter.

From above; "itisjustme, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on September 22, 2015 at 9:15 am", we get this input - "I'd wager she didn't say "leave Siobhan alone" and she actually said "leave the issue of Siobhan alone". First of all, I certainly hope that Itisjustme stays away from all the online gambling because as we can see, he's a lousy better; but this goes further. Now we see that Siobhan is an "issue". Interesting input.

I might add that Fraser didn't grab my arm until after she had told me to "leave Siobhan alone". May I suggest that Itisjustme work on his comprehension skills. It wasn't until I turned to walk away that Fraser grabbed my arm and spun me around. I would have thought that was fairly clear from the statements offered above.

So, I might offer Itisjustme a couple of points od advice; 1) back away from the betting table and strongly consider going to gamblers anonymous so you don't end up broke or in trouble & 2) next time you want to insert yourself into something you know nothing about in your blind efforts to support the unsupportable, try actually comprehending the input provided and think it through Before you comment.

Even anonymous input can appear truly ridiculous.

Oh, and as to phraingck, who is likely the same individual - Really?

How about we stick to the facts. That always seems to provide the best foundation for understanding and solutions. Thank you.

One more point; jess sayin nails it again.

This entire matter was completely avoidable; never had to happen, but unfortunately it did. The repercussions of Fraser's actions and the Council's inactions are coming and will be felt. Hopefully it will all work out best for the residents, businesses and property owners of HMB when all is said and done - but we clearly have a long way to go.


slight correction; the first line of the second para - "As an example: Itisjustme is a moniker we've seen before both on the real and again on the Main Street Bridge matter." should read - "As an example: Itisjustme is a moniker we've seen before both on the recall and again on the Main Street Bridge matter." Somehow the word recall got altered. Sorry.


Small man make complain. Big man no mind, no be cuck old.


Hold on. George, are you intimation that some people here are phake?


Of note; today is Friday, the Friday before the next scheduled City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 6th.

With Ms Smith at the helm, the City Clerk who has not been in the office for over four weeks now and the source of Mayor Fraser's assault at the last Council meeting, the Agenda was always public on the prior Thursday (in this case that would have been yesterday).

As of this moment, I can not seem to find the Agenda for Tuesday's Council meeting.

There is a legal requirement of notice here that is very close to being violated. It is my hope that the Agenda for Tuesday's Council meeting is up and public soon. We wouldn't want to violate notice laws, now would we?


The Agenda has been up for a few hours, now. Lot's to read.


Here's the link: Web Link


433 pages of Agenda for the October 6th Council meeting (link above), including staff reports, and not one word regarding the $4.5 Million missed grant opportunity! Why the deafening silence from the City Council?

I just don't understand it. It makes absolutely no sense at all. Many are asking questions and nobody from the City is forthcoming on answers about this matter. Why not?

City leaders, those five elected 'to serve', should embrace every opportunity to engage their constituents, particularly on matters that equate to losing over 1/3 of HMB's Annual Budget to improve our service to locals and visitors alike. I realize that there are times that honesty and transparency may produce a certain level of discomfort when things don't go as planned or directed, but then that's what the public would expect; nothing in life is perfect and things don't always go as planned. I get that and wonder why this Council doesn't.

"TrailGate" is Not going to go away. In fact, the more this Council tries to hide it by not acknowledging it, hiding it and avoiding it, the more it will be questioned.

I've spoken to this specific matter at the last two Council meetings. The only response I've received is an assault by Mayor Fraser. The public has gotten even less. Why is that?

The problem here is not just that we missed a tremendous financial opportunity to improve our community for all, but that it appears the City Manager was not honest about the matter and is not fielding any discussion on it whatsoever!

Our elected need to address this matter, the sooner the better, and do it publicly and thoroughly. Until that moment comes, reasonable folks are well within their rights to question, to push, to demand that this Council come clean.

$4.5 Million; What is it that they are trying to hide this time?


A heads-up for those interested; there is another City Council meeting this evening. It starts at 7:00 and can be viewed on TV on channel 26 (Comcast) or online (Thanks Ullom Bros). The online link should pop-up between now and 7 here, on TA (might be the 'other' TA).

Now I can't promise anyone the excitement (assault) we saw at the last meeting; in fact, I hope we don't see that again. My arm can only take so much. But I can promise an interesting start to this meeting because there are some that will continue to seek the truth from our elected and their administration.

Lord knows we pay them enough to at least expect honesty (EX: City Manager = $200K per year plus 35% additional in benefits!). If we can't get that, what's the use?


Well, no lives were lost last night at the Council meeting. No injuries or arrests, either.

Once again, for the third time now, I asked this Council to come clean on TrailGate, the missed $4.5 Million grant opportunity and the resulting cover-up. Once again I got nothing; the public got nothing, save a thank you and a call for the next speaker.

I am having a very difficult time understand why this Council appears to embrace lying from senior staff. Not one Council member uttered a peep last night, just like the two meetings before - although I guess I'm lucky I didn't get roughed up again.

Maybe I should just count my blessings and move on ...

Not likely.


George while you were speaking about the missed $4.5 million dollar opportunity, the city manager was putting eye drops in her eyes. IMHO, they are listening.


Was this at Oral Communications? When you speak at Oral Communications to an issue that's not on the agenda they tend not to comment except for perhaps briefly correcting a fact or staff disseminating information to the public. The council certainly cannot legally make decisions on any non agendized topic and don't want to give the impression it is being discussed toward that end. You know that, I know that.

So, when you barely get a "thank you" after your heartfelt three minute soliloquy, it's typical. They do other rude things but that's for another post.


Also, it's not appropriate for the council to subject staff to intense public Q&A grilling about their potential missteps. Council members should protect staff at public meetings while also disciplining or firing as necessary behind closed doors.


Oral Communications, or Public Forum as they now call it, is expressly for the purpose of affording members of the public the opportunity to speak to matters not on the Agenda. What "they" tend to do or not do isn't the point. I have attended more Council meetings than I can count and have seen a wide array of responses and non-responses from the Council to comments from Public Forum.

But we're wandering into the weeds on that - and off topic. The point of my concerns here are twofold: 1) first and foremost, we have a situation where "staff" was directed by Council to apply for a $4.5 Million DOT (federal) to apply to our Coastal Trail, which could use every dime of it. Staff did not only not do as directed, but the top administrator, the City Manager, is quoted by the Review as lying about the outcome!

I can certainly see why the Council doesn't want to discuss it; must be uncomfortable - but isn't that the point here, uff?

Comfort/discomfort aren't really the issue here, is it? The truth is the issue here. Transparency is the issue here. City Council and staff working together for the benefit of HMB and its constituents is he issue here.

I would further remind anyone that it is our obligation to question. What we're missing are answers; but they're coming; sooner or later, one way or another, they're coming. In addition, I'd remind folks that the Council is free to discuss whatever they like. I have and am not asking them for anything they can not or are unable to fulfill. I am asking them for accountability. Lying performed by the City Manager is a terminable offense, so it seems only logical and fair that this Council get to the bottom of this matter to make a determination one way or another - so we can move on.

PS: If, in fact, the quote in the Review of the City Manager telling Council member Ruddock that the grant application was "rejected", then this City Manager has to go; simple as that.

Hiding behind the curtain isn't going to cut it. The citizens of HMB deserve much better than that. It's Civics 101, really.


Oh, I'm sorry. It seems I forgot to post my second concern: 2) assault and name calling. There is absolutely no room for any of that by any elected official at any time toward any member of the public!

Bullying is neither appropriate nor tolerable. It is childish and resorted to by those that just can not or will not articulate a clear position. Maybe they don't have the capability. Maybe they just don't feel like it.

The reason is no reason at all, but rather a cheap excuse. There is No reason for an elected to place their hands on a citizen in anger - NONE!


I am 100% against bullying, which includes a council members calling a member of the public outside to harangue them or lay hands on them.

The other side of the coin is the public overstepping the bounds of civility in personal attacks at the podium.

George you seem to take a balanced approach and I'm glad you oftem highlight the issues that need action, including the $4.5 million mistake. It's just expecting too much to get a discussion or meaningful admission of fault in that Oral Communications cum Public Forum agenda.


"It's just expecting too much to get a discussion or meaningful admission..." uff, and I say this with all due respect, I vehemently disagree.

Part of the issue, or point of our type government is that apathy is Not Welcome.

It is not enough that we fill in a box on the ballot, unfortunately. Governing, in our form of government, requires that we not only vote, but that we also follow along (at least) to keep our elected honest, for lack of a better term. In this particular case, we have what appears to be HMB's Top Administrator lying to her boss ... or at least one fifth of her bosses. That is inexcusable, intolerable and provides a cost to every single coastside resident. It is simply inexcusable and begs to be addressed.

Think about it this way; if HMB government were transparent, forthright and honest, this issue wouldn't have happened. As stated many times, we all make mistakes. The fact that the $4.5 Million TrailGate grant was not even applied for, after clear direction from Council to 'staff' could be considered a "mistake". Obfuscating, covering-up, lying about it, however, is No Mistake. That is a deliberate, with malice and forethought decision taken by those either performing &/ot condoning such behavior and disrespect to all members of the public they are there "to serve"; and they are using our money to perpetuate this madness.

How hard is it, really, to just be honest, uff? I realize, as stated prior, that it may be uncomfortable at times. For example; how does one explain forgetting to apply for a grant equal to over 30% of the budget you manage? Seems pretty difficult, but 'stuff happens' as is said.

But to lie about it, then try to cover it up? Well now, that's a horse of a different color, wouldn't you say>

Each and every Council member has an obligation to the public they were elected to serve to question "irregularities" staff may provide.

I suppose one way to view this is to ask; Is lying to a Council member by the City Manager about non-compliance to action directed by this Council worth questioning? by the public? by each and every Council member? by the Mayor, on her watch?

Each Council member took an oath after winning their seat; an oath to protect and serve the public. Is covering up an apparent blatant lie provided by the top City Administrator fulfilling their oath?

Honesty is always the best road to travel. Maybe not the most comfortable from time to time; but Always the best and preferred road. It can get bumpy from time to time, but then that's one of those "tough decisions" each Council member has to make - the ones we hear about all the time, but rarely actually see.


Maybe a recent example might illustrate the point more clearly.

At the September 15th, 2015 City Council meeting, Mayor Fraser was kind enough to explain the virtues of toilet paper vs say paper towels in terms of its decomposition, valuable and important data I'm sure; but when the topic of HMB's City Manager missing, then lying about the $4.5 Million grant opportunity came up it got very quiet very quickly.

One might refer to that as selective listening, selective preferences or cover-up. Both items were addressed prior to any actionable Agenda Items.

So the Mayor saw fit to advise us about the composition and decomposition of toilet paper, going as far as to suggest that as a science fair project, but didn't see fit to even entertain any dialog on her top administrator's missing $4.5 Million, then apparently lying about it.

What's wrong with this picture?


I don't condone lying or coverups either. But we know it's not possible for the Council to address this during the Public Forum period.

They should agendize the matter - again - and be frank; otherwise we'll never get past this. I personally don't want more inuendos about which staff member did what. The city manager should just say 'I apologize. I blew it. I failed to get the application out in time and I wasn't forthcoming about the mistake. That was a serious error which won't happen again.'

What else is there to say, really? If that's not enough what would be? There may be other reasons to be unhappy with her too but let's be up front about why. It's not just the grant.


"But we know it's not possible for the Council to address this during the Public Forum period."

It is not only possible, i, individually and collectively. The location of that discussion, relative to any Agenda, is irrelevant. All it takes is one Council member to ask a question to start the dialog; that's it, and what better opportunity to do so than in response to questions from the public?

The taking of any formal action, such as the immediate termination that should accompany a lie, would be a personnel matter and as such would be taken up in Closed Session, but discussing the matter is this Council's job, frankly. Ant Council should be very concerned about their perceived image and the honesty on their watch. Nobody is above the law.

The most senior member of HMB's administration has been quoted in the Review as lying to Council member Ruddock. Lying is an immediate terminable offense.

To date, not only has this Council completely ignored the stated fiction attributed to the City Manager, they have and continue to condone obstruction in public efforts to shine light on the matter.

One lies and the other swears to it. Is that the type of government we want? Is that acceptable? Does anyone believe that favors the majority of HMB constituents?

In addition, what else has been mis-stated by "staff" &/or this Council? How do we now know what to believe when admin speaks or the Council speaks? How do we know when anything they say is true? Is there a secret handshake, or maybe we should check to see if their fingers are crossed when their lips are moving?

Lying, fiction, mis-stating the truth, deceiving - none of these character targets are appropriate or wanted or acceptable; not even one of them - period; and addressing any of those character flaws is not only appropriate, but required by our elected.

Instead we get assault and ignored. Very nice, indeed.


Seems now my keyboard is joining with Yosemite X in deciding what it will do or won't do; sorry.

Small correction: "It is not only possible, i, individually and collectively." should read - "It is not only possible, it is a requirement of this City Council, individually and collectively."

Again, sorry about that.

Also; "Ant Council should be very concerned..." should read - "Any Council should be very concerned..."

"none of these character targets are appropriate..." should read - "none of these character traits are appropriate..."

It can be difficult to proof sometimes, but I will try harder. Sorry for any inconvenience.


Somehow thinking of the majority as being appropriate and capable of governing a community of ants is moderately amusing to contemplate. (Especially since the Ant Council is concerned!! That shows a level of sophistication not usually found in our little friends!!)

Cheers!

dce


I'd rather see the topic agendized than dealt with on the fly.

Also, did you ever get a sincere apology, George?


Also, did you ever get a sincere apology, George?

Are you kidding me Uffish?? I can honestly state that I have never, not once, heard anyone in the majority apologize for anything. (Doesn't mean they don't/haven't, just that I've never seen it in two years of watching...)

George is pond-scum (as am I!!) and will be treated as such.

Cheers,

dce


I can only aspire to be pond scum; you must have friends in high places dce.

But I am, if nothing else, honest - and I expect that same honesty from elected representatives and their choices for administrative staff, particularly their top choice for the top admin position ... the City Manager.

Honesty is fair game for discussion by anyone at any time in any location, as far as I am concerned.

@ uff; No, I have received nothing and expected nothing from the assault by the Mayor. Although one might easily argue she lost her mind for a moment, that does absolutely nothing to address the lacking of her choice as City Manager and honesty from our elected. That is something we should all expect, but as of now has not been forthcoming.


I didn't expect to hear anything positive on the apology front but hope springs eternal... without a safe and respectful city governance what are we?

I usually agree with your (George's) views on the local issues and often disagree on the national ones, but who cares? There should be room for all honest views on all levels. It's not only disgraceful but an embarrassment how DCE, JCU and George have been treated.


Well folks, we have another completely unexplained move by the HMB City Manager.

We remember the pure coincidence of our outstanding City Clerk's meeting with the City Manager and her subsequent absence from work since (what, about 6 weeks now?). We also remember the HMB Mayor's outburst and assault over Ms Smith at a recent Council meeting.

It seems we now have a new Interim City Clerk! Yes, she was at the last Council meeting and has been hired by the City Manager. This new City Clerk, expected to replace Siobhan Smith's 20+ years of outstanding service through 15 different administrations (City Managers) - and she was hired from a temp agency - and at the complete disregard of the Assistant City Clerk who has been there about 2 years now.

Is there Anybody out there that can explain what the Hell is going on at City Hall? If so, please share it with us. I know I'd sure like to know.

I'd like to know why, since the Current City Manager has had her job (13 months) we've lost two senior admin people, whose jobs have been filled by 1) Ms Gonzalez friend from EPA and RWC & 2) a temp agency!

So, the logical question now is who's next and how many can Ms Gonzalez fire or pressure to leave before she's gone - and how long can this Council ignore the City Manager's behavior?


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