Nature Watch: Message from Barbara Mauz

Story by Barbara Mauz (Nature Watch)

Email Barbara ([email protected]

Take a look at the pair of excellent letters below — it is important that the Board of Supervisors hear from you regarding their proposal to take away your opportunity to have people represent you LOCALLY, on the Mid-Coast Community Council, instead of “over the hill” in Redwood City. 

When you have locally elected representatives, and in this case, all of the Mid-Coast Community Council members are folks who actually live on the Coastside—that means locals have easy access to the members of the council because they are our neighbors and know better than anyone the problems that the unique Coastside faces.

 Please take a couple of minutes after reading these two letters to send a message to them to (1) Appoint Ric Lohman to represent you on the Mid-Coast Community Council – Ric has a very good knowledge & understanding of the Mid-Coast and with his previous experience on the Mid-Coast Community Council will be able to guide that group towards making decisions that will be beneficial to the Mid-Coast’s Tax-Paying Homeowners and, (2) Oppose Supervisor Richard Gordon’s Resolution to restrict the membership of the Midcoast Community Council. Note that the first letter contains the E-mail address’ of each Supervisor. You can send your E-mail letter to all of them by putting each of their E-maill address’ in the “To” line any time before that item comes up on their agenda at 10:15 a.m. tomorrow – 1/17/09. In the Subject line indicate “Item 12 – 10:15 a.m. – Open Seat on Midcoast Community Council & Resolution”.

 Just click on the “Supporting Document” below to read the Board Memo. You may also want to read letter/comments about this posted at /Thanks, Barb Mauz



10:15 a.m.

Recommendation to: (Continued from the meeting of January 6, 2009) (Supervisors Rich Gordon and Rose Jacobs Gibson)




Appoint Sabrina Brennan to the Midcoast Community Council, term expiring November 30, 2009




Decline to appoint Ric Lohman to the Midcoast Community Council




Direct the County Counsel to draft a resolution specifying that persons who serve as elected directors of other local government agencies are ineligible for service on the County of San Mateo municipal advisory councils which include elected members



Supporting Document: Board Memo



Vince Williams writes (Comment #14):

“Most likely outcome: The Board of Supervisors pass their resolution…The vacant MCC seats are replaced by members sympathetic to the Supervisors position on the issue of growth. Neil and Darin are happy for a short while.”

I can agree with that analysis. Nevertheless, below is the email I sent to the Board of Supervisors. I actually received a reply from Supervisor Carole Groom (but not Rich Gordon, however, I wonder why) thanking me for my input.

To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Dear Supervisors:

I urge you to vote against the proposed resolution to restrict the membership of the MidCoast Community Council (MCC) under the guise of some arbitrary “conflict of interest” definition.

It would appear that the real goal of the resolution is to suppress the local MCC voice. One year ago, Supervisor Gordon proposed to abolish the MCC, claiming that the elected body did not represent the views of Midcoast citizens even though the Fall 2007 election had placed three new members on the council.

In his January 2008 letter to the Half Moon Bay Review, Supervisor Gordon asserted that the MCC might have “outlived its usefulness.” He wrote: “Just this past November [2007], rather than appoint the Council’s nominees, I pushed for an election so that the public would be actively engaged in selecting new members to invigorate the Council. What has become clear, however, is that there remains a significant portion of Midcoast residents who feel they are not being adequately represented by the MCC, and that troubles me very seriously.”

How exactly did that opinion “become clear” to Supervisor Gordon? Which influential special interest groups have Supervisor Gordon’s ear? Didn’t residents have a chance to vote in the MCC election? Were the polls closed in some neighborhoods?

It would appear that Supervisor Gordon (or some special interest groups) did not like the outcome of the Fall 2007 election so an effort was made to disband the MCC altogether. Now one year later, a new effort is underway to use an arbitrary definition of “conflict of interest” to overule the local voters’ preferences on who may serve on the MCC.

Basically, the proposed resolution seeks to impose standards on the MCC membership that are more restrictive than those that exist in state law. I urge you to reject the resolution because it represents an infringement on the legal voting rights of Midcoast residents.


Kevin J. Lansing

Half Moon Bay

Dear Supervisor:




Tomorrow, January 27, 2009, please vote to deny changes to the makeup of the Midcoast Council. Please also vote to appoint Ric Lohman to one of the vacanty seats on the MCC until the next election.


 We citizens of the several midcoast communities are fully able to determine who we want for the MCC. Some of the elected directors of the special districts in our area are our most knowledgeable representatives on many pressing matters in our communities and are ideal as members of the purely advisory Midcoast Council. We are fully aware of their district positions when we elect them. The resolution for a change prohibiting special district directors on the advisory council is against the democratic process, is hypocritical in that most supervisors and city council people in San Mateo County sit on several governmental decision-making boards and committees, and violates the clear will of most midcoast citizens. Please do not be swayed by a minority of economic interests who find the prevailing wishes of our local communities bothersome and please let the midcoast citizens prevail in your consideration over citizens of other areas with their own selfish agendas, such as overdevelopment voices from Half Moon Bay.




Ric Lohman was elected to the MCC by us midcoast citizens on several occasions in the past. As an MCC member, he, like many others in the MCC, put in incredible numbers of hours working for our communities without compensation. Lohman knows our area and its issues very well, and the county is lucky to have his application to fill out an open term.







Barry Parr at has closely been covering the Mid- Coast Council. To read his work, please click here