In the wake of the alleged call by Half Moon Bay City Manager Laura Snideman for the resignation of Planning Director Steve Flint, several Half Moon Bay residents took the opportunity at Tuesday night's City Council meeting to praise the contributions of Flint over his near 7-year term.
The Half Moon Bay Review reported on Monday that Snideman asked Flint to submit his resignation no later than Tuesday night's council meeting.
The named cause for the city's alleged action has not been disclosed by councilmembers, Snideman or Flint.
Both Flint and the city would not comment at Tuesday's meeting on whether he had submitted a letter of resignation.
"All I can say is that there is an active personnel matter with Steve Flint," Snideman said Tuesday night.
Six residents, including Flint's wife Kendall, delivered comments in support of the Planning Director to Mayor Allan Alifano, Councilmember Marina Fraser and Councilmember John Muller.
"I worked with Flint for his entire tenure," said Tom Roman, Half Moon Bay Planning Commissioner. Roman specified that his comments were being made from his perspective as an individual and not as a planning commissioner.
"He’s shepherded a number of projects through the community," Roman added, naming the CCWD pipeline replacement, the , and the as examples.
The alleged call for resignation comes a few months after a San Mateo County court was announced in November in favor of resident Jimmy Benjamin for a lawsuit filed against the city. Judge Julie Conger wrote a decision which agreed with the plaintiff's allegation that Half Moon Bay violated the California Coastal Act in 2009 when it cleared a drainage ditch of vegetation classified as endangered species habitat without obtaining a Coastal Development Permit first.
Judge Conger's decision — which involved fining the city $1,000 a day for each day the violation of the California Coastal Act persisted — could translate into over $1 million in fines for Half Moon Bay.
According to The Half Moon Bay Review, the city still has an opportunity to settle the case with Benjamin since Conger's previous ruling was not final.
"I'm not sure how this whole thing has come about," said Harry Ysselstein to the assembled councilmembers. "I’ve looked at what he [Flint] has accomplished, his committment to this community and frankly, are we looking for a scapegoat here?"
"And if we are, who’s the right scapegoat?" Ysselstein continued. "I can’t answer that question when you look at someone doing this for seven years doing what Steve has done and up until now, everything has been copacetic. I understand the [Kehoe] Ditch...and a lot of details haven’t come out and what Judge Conger said I understand, but the veracity of what she said is open for discussion."
Kendall Flint said that she and her husband have received over 20 phone calls each from concerned members of the community over the last few days.
"People who I never have thought would have supported Steve were pissed," she said.
"At this point Steve has entered into a discussion with the city and they are working towards a resolution," Kendall Flint said.
"We’re not leaving Half Moon Bay but we may not be here in the same capacity," she said.
Snideman said that she could not provide comment on when she anticipates the matter will be resolved.
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