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Will You Attend the Half Moon Bay City Council Special Meeting?

Time to give input on our tax dollars at work. Special meeting on Jan. 29 addresses Measure J money, Half Moon Bay capital improvements, almost $87 million in anticipated need.

Anyone want to know where the Measure J money is going to go? Anyone want to know what the Council's top priorities are for capital Improvements over the next five years? Did you know that the expectation for Measure J money has now changed to $1 million per year for each of its three years, now bringing the anticipated total to $3 million?

The Half Moon Bay City Council is holding a Special Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 29th at 5 p.m. at the newly built Department Operations Center at 537 Kelly Ave.

Here's the agenda.

Under the heading of "Fiscal Impacts, on page one, we see from the Agenda (in part): "The plan estimates just over $6 million in expenditures for the next fiscal year and a total CIP budget of almost $87 million, including these long range unfunded projects."

The Agenda is 52 pages in length, complete with graphs, charts and suggestions.

There is one item, right on the first page of the Agenda that caught my attention immediately, that I have a question and concern with. It is a very subtle, but very concerning point that I hope others see so I don't feel so alone in my opinion on it.

There has been much discussion about Half Moon Bay expenditures and future expenditures. Now's your (our) chance to have input (limited) on our tax dollars at work and how they will be prioritized and spent.

Take a gander. See where staff feels our money needs to go over the next five years and beyond.

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haveapizza January 25, 2013 at 08:47 PM
Unfortunately like most non-government workers everyone I know is still working at 5PM.
George Muteff January 26, 2013 at 08:10 PM
You are not the first person to note the conflict, but it does happen from time to time. For those who have input that they would like to contribute, may I suggest banging out your thoughts and deliver them to the City via email or drop-off at City Hall before the meeting. It may not provide you with that personal touch, but your comments are then part of the public record and will be at least looked at. On another point, as long as I'm here, I thought it might be a good time to address something I mentioned above: For those interested, take a look at the staff report. You will note that the format is standard, however there is (as I mentioned above) something that jumped out at me. In the heading you will note the standard TO: / VIA: / FROM: / and TITLE:. This is standard format for staff reports. What is not standard, however, and what I find disturbing, at the minimum in it's potential, follows the "FROM:" entry. Note that the staff report is from Jan Cooke, Finance Manager (which is customary) and Mo Sharma, City Engineer, which is troubling - potentially very troubling. I like Mo Sharma. He used to be a City employee, but his entire department was farmed out, making MR Sharma a contracted employee; he works for a contracted firm, not HMB. I view that as a conflict of interest at our expense. How is it that a contracted employee has a hand in our budget, our expenditures. One has to wonder where his loyalties lie: to the City - or to his compensation?
George Muteff January 26, 2013 at 08:28 PM
We have seen Mr Sharma's input and influence in matters like this before. Last summer, for example, we saw Mr Sharma trying to push the largest infrastructure project in HMB history through at a Planning Director (PD) meeting at 4:30 in the afternoon on a weekday. I wrote about it several times and in several places. Here's one I did for Patch: http://halfmoonbay.patch.com/blog_posts/follow-up-to-hmb-infrastructure-projec The reason it even got to the Planning Commission (PC) from the Planning Director's meeting was because I spoke to the matter and strongly urged our Interim Planning Director, who is contracted and had only been in HMB for several months at that point, to forward the Item to the PC for public input. Supporting my concerns was the result. The Item was bifurcated by the PD and forwarded to the PC for review. The PC passed both sides - and both approvals were appealed by the Coastal Commission. They sit there now. Should the City have a contracted employee who has a substantial personal interest in the matter (his current and future income) actively guide and participate from a deciding standpoint where our money goes? The Title on the Agenda's staff report is: "DRAFT CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM FY 2013-18 AND MEASURE J FUNDING" Judging from what we see, are my questions and concerns out of round? Does this type on involvement of a contracted employee, who is guiding our money appropriate? Or, is it just me?
Laura McHugh January 27, 2013 at 08:28 AM
What ever happened with farming out the Planning Dept? Has that been decided? I will try to read the report and attend the meeting. Thank you for keeping an eye on things for all of us, George.
George Muteff January 27, 2013 at 06:53 PM
The last official action the Council took in continuation of the contracted evaluation of the HMB Planning Department was in December. The Council instructed staff to put together and send out RFP's to potential candidates for outsourcing the Department. It was done. There have been more than a few responses and some questioning has transpired. I thought we'd see something on a January Agenda publicly continuing this Item, as that is what the Council had suggested in November, but it looks like that isn't going to happen which pushes public action into February or even March. With that said, however, one never knows and I am keeping a close eye and ear on the next move. There is also some discussion going on in private circles on this, as there should be. So, to answer your question Laura, nothing has been Publicly decided, yet. There is still time for folks to speak to this and for the City to come to their senses. Thanks for asking and your interest.

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