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What Happened at the City Council Meeting This Week?

Cake, mountain lions, nominations for the San Mateo County City Selection Committee, fixing the Main Street bridge, and more were all part of the Half Moon Bay City Council's agenda Tuesday night.

The Half Moon Bay City Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4, was a piece of cake — literally, cake and punch were served. The Cub Scouts Pack 263 joined the first half of the meeting to help lead the pledge of allegiance. After a photo op with the troop, the meeting was recessed for a short snack break followed by serious talks amongst council members about funding, city selection committees, and mountain lions.

Half Moon Bay city council was saddened to announce that two small mountain lion cubs were shot and killed Saturday night by the State Department of Fish and Game wardens. The cats were first discovered by a resident who saw them in a yard and called the State Department of Fish and Game. Wardens came and shot the mountain lions, stating that they were fearful the animals would escape the yard, becoming a public safety issue. The city council stated that they had nothing to do with the decision to kill the mountain lions.

The council discussed nominations for the San Mateo County City Selection Committee. City Clerk, Siobhan Smith, listed the numerous appointments to be made including a City Selection chair and vice-chair. Amongst the nominations for the City Selection Committee was councilwoman Marina Frasier. Council members also received some slack during the meeting’s public forum for past actions that one citizen believed was unacceptable. 

John Ullom, a resident who ran for city council this year and lost, congratulated his opponents and asked the council to be more transparent in the future. He accused the council of lying about past uses of the Build America Bonds that were approved in July 2009. Vice Mayor, Rick Kowalczyk, asserted after the meeting that these accusations were false.

City manager, Laura Snideman, talked about potential government grant opportunities to fix the bridge that Vice Mayor Rick has deemed “seismically unsafe.” The bridge will cost a little over $7.5 million to repair. Further discussion of possibilities to fix the bridge will commence at a public input meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 19 at the Department Operations Center.

Half Moon Bay has had luck receiving government grants in the past, most recently with the 2009 Homeland Security grant that allowed the city to open a $1.2 million Department Operations Center right next to the Ted Addock Community Center on Kelly Avenue. The grant was issued for $750,000 with Half Moon Bay picking up the tab for the rest of the $1.2 million total.

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George Muteff December 05, 2012 at 10:12 PM
If I may...a correction and (an important) addition: Ms Radin comments (in part), "...that Vice Mayor Rick has deemed “seismically unsafe.” The first Item of business at last night's meeting was the swearing in of the 2 winning candidates Fraser and Muller. The very next Item was the restructure of Council leadership. Rick Kowalczyk was Vice-Mayor, with Allan Alifano as Mayor over the last year. Kowalczyk was nominated and voted Mayor last night, which takes hold immediately. By the time they got to the bridge funding, Kowalczyk was Mayor and will be for one year. Then the Council will reassess and vote again. Now to the addition. Aside from the discussed points, I would have to say that one of the most important actions the Council took last night for to direct the staff to send out RFPs for outsourcing our Planning Department - a HUGE deal and one I have issue with. We'll know more in January and February. For winter months, it sure looks like things around here will be quite hot. I can't wait. Great report, btw, and thank you.
George Muteff December 05, 2012 at 10:49 PM
not to belabor a point, but the whole purpose of the break with refreshments was to celebrate the swearing in of the election winners in the recent Council election race and the restructure of positions on the Council. The list of "dignitaries" present for the celebratory occasion was long and star studded. Both Fraser and Muller were sworn in by a past Council member (multiple terms), Mayor (multiple times) and the Father of Council member John Muller's wife, Eda. BOS Supervisor Don Horsley was there, a rep from Jackie Spiers office was there, a rep from Jerry Hill's office was there, and that's just a few. The Boy Scouts ceremonial flag presentation was specifically for the celebratory occasion, and they did a remarkable job. Just trying to fill in a blank or two.
Brian Ginna December 06, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Technically, it was the Cub Scouts Pack 263, not the Boy Scouts. Slight correction. Thanks, George for the feedback. And the Safeway cake was excellent.
George Muteff December 06, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Thanks Brian; slight correction appreciated. Btw, you looked very good in shorts! And the scouts did a wonderful job. Hat's off to the whole Cub Scout Pack 263. I didn't get any cake, though. :( Probably just running my mouth too much.
Christa Bigue (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 04:21 AM
We'll make the correction on the Cub Scouts ... thanks for letting us know! What a nice experience for them, joining part of the meeting.

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