Allan Alifano is New Mayor; Emergency Operations Center Ahead of Schedule

Alifano succeeded Naomi Patridge on Tuesday night at the last Half Moon Bay city council meeting of 2011.

After welcoming new Mayor Allan Alifano and Vice Mayor Rick Kowalczyk, the Half Moon Bay City Council heard an update concerning the current status of the Emergency Operations Center and approved the .

As Naomi Patridge stepped down, fellow councilmembers and State Assemblyman Jerry Hill commended the Coastside native for her years of service.

“It’s hard to put into words all of the things you’ve done for our community,” Alifano said to Patridge. “Everywhere we seem to bump into all the things you’ve done.”

Taking the position of Vice Mayor will be Rick Kowalczyk.

“I want to learn from you,” Kowalczyk said to Patridge. “I really can’t give you a higher compliment than that.”

Assemblyman Hill commented that during Patridge’s term as mayor, Half Moon Bay saw particularly trying times as the Half Moon Bay Police Department was and the community responded to a surge of .   

“The people came together, I think, because of the confidence they have in their leadership,” Hill said.

Councilmember Marina Fraser said that the past year has perhaps posed the toughest decisions to the Half Moon Bay city council.

“It’s been a hard year,” Patridge said. “But I think it’s been a very fruitful year.”

The decision to , she said, had been emotional but proved productive.

“It has been a great transition for us and a great move for the city,” she said.

In his new position, Alifano said he hopes the council finds creative ways to bring the most valuable resources to the city in the coming year.

“It’s easy for us to come here and just do the standard business and not go out of the box,” he said.

With the city’s newly balanced budget, Alifano said, he would like to begin implementing more afterschool programs and find ways to improve the parks of the city.

Alifano referred to afterschool programs and activities as sources of potential crime prevention.

“I think there’s ways we can bring some of that back slowly,” Alifano said.

As Vice Mayor, Kowalczyk said, his one goal is to be representative to the needs of the citizens of Half Moon Bay.

“The most important thing to me is to be a good steward in this community,” he said. “If I have a priority, it’s economic development in Half Moon Bay.”

City Manager Laura Snideman updated the council on the construction of the Emergency Operations Center.

The $1.2 million 2,880-square-foot project is currently under budget and ahead of schedule, Snideman said.

“There’s an incredible amount of detail that goes into a construction project,” Snideman said. “And this is no different."

But due to advantageous weather and smooth coordination with contractor Romkon, Inc., the project may be completed as soon as April, Snideman said.

Currently, contactors are aiming to fully weatherproof the facility by the end of the calendar year.  

The council unanimously approved the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report with a thankful word to city staff for their dedication to detail.

The 138-page report took approximately six to seven months to prepare, according to Finance Manager Jan Cooke.

“The amount of work that goes into the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is absolutely amazing,” said councilmember John Muller. “This is a huge undertaking for the city.”

As of June 30, the city has a $15 million General Fund balance, with $9.4 million in non-spendable funds, $2.8 million in committed funds and $2.9 million is unassigned or available for generally any purpose.

“It was particularly well done,” Kowalcyzk said of the report. “Really thorough.”

As the council concluded their regular meeting, Patridge passed her gavel to Alifano and wished him the best of luck.

"I will be watching you every minute," Patridge joked.

The next city council meeting will be held January 6 at 7 p.m. in the Ted Adcock Community Center (535 Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay).

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