Harbor Commission, the most secretive government body on the coast, to hold “public” meeting with no audio or video recordings

The San Mateo Harbor Commission will meet today at 7:00 pm at the “Harbor Conference Room” of the Comfort Inn on Cabrillo Highway. They get a good rate from the hotel. The hotel is owned by local developer Keet Nerhan, who also leases land at a good rate from the Harbor for an RV park next to Surfers Beach. Scratchy scratch scratch.

On the agenda is a pay raise of 2.5% for their Human Resources Manager (Harris) and their Director of Finance (Galarza), who also will be getting a 2.5% raise. It is not clear what either person does at the Harbor District.

The District only has a few employees and doesn’t seem to warrant a dedicated human resources manager. Of course it may be that the generous health and retirement benefits enjoyed by the Harbor Commissioners (past and present)–more lucrative than all the other Coastside board positions combined–require an unexpected level of activity.

What a director of finance does is also anyone’s guess. There’s bills to be paid and invoices to be settled. But enough work for a full-time position?

The Harbor Master, Peter Grenell Scott Grindy, who in most organizations would be doing the work of the human resources person and the finance director, also is receiving a raise. His pay will be increased by 5% this year.

These are the same employees who ignore or slow-walk most of Commissioner Brennan’s questions. They funnel her questions through the district’s attorney so they rack up big bills which they later complain about and use as a basis for trying to shut down her questions.

They will also be shutting down Brennan’s questions tonight. Agenda item 5, under New Business, is titled “District Chain of Command.” The proposed action is to “Reaffirm chain of command for communications.” Which is another way of saying, “Brennan can’t ask any questions unless the board majority says she can.” So much for democracy–Brennan won more votes than any other harbor commissioner in history, as far as I can tell. Tucker got 71,000 or so. Brennan got 120,000. They hope she will just go away if they make it tough enough for her. She’s a girl, after all.

But you won’t get to see or hear any of this. The board majority, over Brennan’s objections, voted to terminate the video recording at the last meeting.

 

One Response to Harbor Commission, the most secretive government body on the coast, to hold “public” meeting with no audio or video recordings

  1. keepcoastsidecalfirePeggy Emrey Sep 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Does anyone know if another citizen will be taping the Harbor meetings and posting them where the public can see them? For the District to refuse to make meetings available to all, including disabled persons who may not be able to personally attend all meetings because of distance, is unconscionable! Is this even legal?

    Also, is it legal for a District to restrict communications by a duly elected board member just because they don’t like what she has to say? The public has elected her to speak for them, so their denying her the ability to do so is denying the public the voice they have chosen. How can an appointed member who has never been elected take precedence over an elected member?