Election years, for those that can take a slightly different view, can really be interesting. We can look and see odd occurrences just about everywhere.
Take, for example, HMB. Just the other day I received an eight-page, multi-colored (on great paper stock, by the way) glossy "2012 Summer Newsletter" from the City of Half Moon Bay.
Now I've only lived here for well over 30 years, so I most certainly don't know it all, but I can't remember the last time I received anything from the City of this nature. Taking it one step further, and by coincidence I'm sure, this is a City election year and there are two seats open that the two incumbents want to recapture.
The "newsletter," which happened to come out during the campaign for those two seats, sort of reminds me of the 2005 City election when we saw the no-growthers come out with their "Voice of the Coast” "newspapers," which by the way, got them in hot water with regulators.
We see our lovely City Manager on the front cover, with a message from her to us, and signed "Warm Regards" by her. Very nice.
Once inside, we get all sorts of stuff (important and helpful stuff) like:
* contact the City data
* City Staff Profile
* Council members named along with Council meeting days
* talk about the upcoming sales tax measure on the ballot (1/2 cent rise for 3 years)
* HMB featured in "National TV Show"
* the "Field of Dreams" event last April - the City acquired Smith Field(s)
* a handy guide from the City letting us know that they accept credit cards at the front counter for things like business licenses, alarm permits special event permits, Poplar parking permits, planning fees and so much more. From that same slice, we also learn that weekend enforcement of the two hour downtown parking is in effect.
We also learn that the City has mandatory solid waste collection and last, but not least, we are notified that parking on the street is for everyone; so to those that try to block off that space in front of your house...shame, and expect a ticket ("citation.")
And we're only 1/2 way through the eight pager.
* page 5 starts out with "HMB Named One of the Top 15 'Happiest Seaside Towns'” in the United States.
* Then answers to, “Do I Need To Pull A Permit,” followed with the “Recreation Zone”
* page 6 brings us the “Sheriff’s Spotlight” and “Public Works Notes”
* page 7 provides us with “2012-2013 Budget News,” a plea to help fight graffiti and a little blip on the “New Logo for HMB”
* polishing this “newsletter" off, page 8 provides us with “Upcoming Dates in Half Moon Bay” that we might be interested in
Now don’t get me wrong; this is a good thing and something that has been talked about as far back as the 2005 election campaign cycle. If we can afford it, we should be getting something from the City to keep us informed. I appreciate that.
What I don’t appreciate, however, is our tax money being used in a shameless, transparent attempt to campaign for the benefit of the incumbents — as if we wouldn't notice. Nobody likes to be played.
But again, I’m sure it is merely a coincidence; just like Voice of the Coast was in 2005.
This blog post first appeared on Half Moon Bay Review's TalkAbout (TA) Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012.