Saturday, July 6, 2013

San Mateo Harbor commissioners gone rogue

Prior to her election to the Harbor Commission (2012), Sabrina Brennan (Moss Beach) joined with the NIMBY group that contested CalTrans highway 1 widening in Pacifica.  At that time, she also insisted that you should ride your bicycle to work.

Surf's up for ecology and litigation
Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 7/3/13.  "Public record cost draw scorn at harbor, commissioner argues staff ignores queries. "

....  "Commissioners targeted Brennan for criticism, pointing out she had made special requests totaling $10,000, or more than 55 hours in legal work, according to a staff report. That was more billable hours than all other commissioners together had requested of contracted attorneys with Aaronson, Dickerson, Cohn and Lanzone since January 2012

...  The argument unfolded amid a series of other combative discussions between Brennan and harbor commissioners. Brennan and Bernardo delivered reports from committees they co-chaired, leading other board members to question the purpose of those groups.

 ....  The three board members also shot down a proposal to turn a citizens’ group concerned about a recent harbor dredging plans into an official harbor committee. Brennan had co-chaired the group, “the Pillar Point Harbor Shoreline Erosion Committee,” which drew about 50 people and various agencies together for its first meeting in May."  Read article.

RelatedSan Mateo County Harbor District,  San Mateo Harbor Board Commissioners.  Also search Fix Pacifica "Harbor Board" articles (left side of blog).  Note:  photograph from Sabrina Brennan/ Square blog.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Good for Brennan for demanding the information from this corrupt Board. Don't be surprised if after this corruption is exposed there will be some ex-Commissioners heading to the graybar hotel. And why isn't Fix Pacifica applauding the exposure of waste and corruption? Read the comments in the Half Moon Bay Review for the facts, not through the totally biased BS posted here.

Anonymous said...

Pacifica, needs more people like Ray Donovan!

Anonymous said...

If you read the whole article, it looks like Commissioner Brennan is trying to do the job she was elected to do and is being blocked by the General Manager. It also reads as though Board President Jim Tucker doesn't understand procedure. I'd like to see the rest of the story.

Anonymous said...

She needs to move to Pacifica... If she thinks wasting money on legal fees is fun, wait until she finds out about the joys of blowing tons of money on costly consultants!!

Kathy Meeh said...

"... looks like Commissioner Brennan is trying to do the job she was elected to do..." NIMBY Anonymous 7/6/13, 2:35 PM.

Not exactly, in fact NO. Looks more like Commissioner Sabrina Brennan and possibly Commissioner Robert Bernardo overreached their authority. In any event, the full Half Moon Bay news article is linked in this reprint article, and here.

Anonymous said...

I encourage people to read the whole article and draw their own conclusions. Kathy Meeh is obviously pushing her own agenda. Witness the labeling of the one comment as "NIMBY anonymous." What was NIMBY about it?

Anonymous said...

Kathy, please provide the quote that she "insisted that you ride your bicycle to work". Otherwise I will assume you grossly misrepresented her actual statement.

Anonymous said...

"Kathy, do you even bother to read these articles before you post them? It clearly explains Brennan only went to the more costly and laborious process of public records requests after staff stonewalled her. reminds me of the pacifica mayor who cried every time a public records request was made. he said people were wasting staff time and money. and then some local know it all whined that we were costing the city money. a know it all you worship."

Kathy Meeh said...

Anonymous 8:59 AM, 7:43 AM. It hardly matters, whether you read the article, your ideology may be crippling your thinking.

Yes, everyone should read the full article article, and draw their own tentative conclusions, since this is still a story with limited detail. However, 1) we know know that there are legal monies being spent by one Harbor Commissioner (Brennan), 2) the Harbor Board does not know the purpose of the civic groups being formed from the committees Brennan and Bernardo have co-chaired, 3) the Harbor Board President and majority are not pleased with one or two Commissioner's process.

And the questions remains outstanding, 1) what was the purpose of one commissioner obtaining so much legal information, and 2) why were citizen committees formed outside authorization from the full Harbor Commission Board?

Kathy Meeh said...

"..ride your bicycle to work.." Anonymous baiting bully, 8:32 AM

Yes, Sabrina Brennan said that repeatedly, and she was insistent. Clearly you did not attend the last CalTrans highway widening meeting (9/22/11).

At that meeting, Brennan also voiced a more reasonable concern that there would be inclusion of bike paths along the highway 1 widening. And as it turns out (without her voiced concern), bike paths are already somewhere in the planning.

Sabrina is the NIMBY Harbor Commissioner you support. That is your view point. And your words about any "gross misrepresentation" on my part are cheap, and incorrect.

Because of Coastal NIMBISM enough things go wrong, no reason for those of us who want to fix the systemic inadequacy to misrepresent any issues. This city and this coastal region has been there.

Anonymous said...

Ok for those of you democrats who are too lazy to use google. It can be your bestest friend, really.

Here goes. Wait watch read learn.

The purpose of chapter 9 is to provide a financially-distressed municipality protection from its creditors while it develops and negotiates a plan for adjusting its debts. Reorganization of the debts of a municipality is typically accomplished either by extending debt maturities, reducing the amount of principal or interest, or refinancing the debt by obtaining a new loan.

Although similar to other chapters in some respects, chapter 9 is significantly different in that there is no provision in the law for liquidation of the assets of the municipality and distribution of the proceeds to creditors. Such a liquidation or dissolution would undoubtedly violate the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution and the reservation to the states of sovereignty over their internal affairs. Indeed, due to the severe limitations placed upon the power of the bankruptcy court in chapter 9 cases (required by the Tenth Amendment and the Supreme Court's decisions in cases upholding municipal bankruptcy legislation), the bankruptcy court generally is not as active in managing a municipal bankruptcy case as it is in corporate reorganizations under chapter 11. The functions of the bankruptcy court in chapter 9 cases are generally limited to approving the petition (if the debtor is eligible), confirming a plan of debt adjustment, and ensuring implementation of the plan. As a practical matter, however, the municipality may consent to have the court exercise jurisdiction in many of the traditional areas of court oversight in bankruptcy, in order to obtain the protection of court orders and eliminate the need for multiple forums to decide issues.

Anonymous said...

Treatment of Bondholders and Other Lenders
Different types of bonds receive different treatment in municipal bankruptcy cases. General obligation bonds are treated as general debt in the chapter 9 case. The municipality is not required to make payments of either principal or interest on account of such bonds during the case. The obligations created by general obligation bonds are subject to negotiation and possible restructuring under the plan of adjustment.

Special revenue bonds, by contrast, will continue to be secured and serviced during the pendency of the chapter 9 case through continuing application and payment of ongoing special revenues. 11 U.S.C. § 928. Holders of special revenue bonds can expect to receive payment on such bonds during the chapter 9 case if special revenues are available. The application of pledged special revenues to indebtedness secured by such revenues is not stayed as long as the pledge is consistent with 11 U.S.C. § 928 [§ 922(d) erroneously refers to § 927 rather than § 928], which ensures that a lien of special revenues is subordinate to the operating expenses of the project or system from which the revenues are derived. 11 U.S.C. § 922(d).

Bondholders generally do not have to worry about the threat of preference liability with respect to any prepetition payments on account of bonds or notes, whether special revenue or general obligations. Any transfer of the municipal debtor's property to a noteholder or bondholder on account of a note or bond cannot be avoided as a preference, i.e., as an unauthorized payment to a creditor made while the debtor was insolvent. 11 U.S.C. § 926(b).

Anonymous said...

Court's Limited Power
Sections 903 and 904 of the Bankruptcy Code are designed to recognize the court's limited power over operations of the debtor.

Section 904 limits the power of the bankruptcy court to "interfere with – (1) any of the political or governmental powers of the debtor; (2) any of the property or revenues of the debtor; or (3) the debtor's use or enjoyment of any income-producing property" unless the debtor consents or the plan so provides. The provision makes it clear that the debtor's day-to-day activities are not subject to court approval and that the debtor may borrow money without court authority. In addition, the court cannot appoint a trustee (except for limited purposes specified in 11 U.S.C. § 926(a)) and cannot convert the case to a liquidation proceeding.

The court also cannot interfere with the operations of the debtor or with the debtor's use of its property and revenues. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that in a chapter 9 case, there is no property of the estate and thus no estate to administer. 11 U.S.C. § 902(1). Moreover, a chapter 9 debtor may employ professionals without court approval, and the only court review of fees is in the context of plan confirmation, when the court determines the reasonableness of the fees.

The restrictions imposed by 11 U.S.C. § 904 are necessary to ensure the constitutionality of chapter 9 and to avoid the possibility that the court might substitute its control over the political or governmental affairs or property of the debtor for that of the state and the elected officials of the municipality.

Similarly, 11 U.S.C. § 903 states that "chapter [9] does not limit or impair the power of a State to control, by legislation or otherwise, a municipality of or in such State in the exercise of the political or governmental powers of the municipality, including expenditures for such exercise," with two exceptions – a state law prescribing a method of composition of municipal debt does not bind any non-consenting creditor, nor does any judgment entered under such state law bind a nonconsenting creditor.

Anonymous said...

Bankruptcy? Shut your mouth! We have a reserve and a balanced budget according to the departed finance guru and our wildly popular Council (remember their approval rating in the poll). Those statements will be incredibly useful in Council's UUT campaign--and make no mistake it is Council's campaign. Doubtful any bankruptcy court would allow a Chapter 9 filing as long as those statements remain true and the city is paying its bills and has reached agreements with labor.

Floating a bond measure for a library while you're seeking bankruptcy protection? Is that legal? It's definitely tacky.

IMO bankruptcy just isn't part of this Council's plans for us. Nope, Council, all 2 of them, has very carefully set the stage for something else this season. We're to be like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Clutching cellphones.

Anonymous said...

Our x finance director who was an HR person who left in a huff cause they didn't let her become city manager.

The books are so screwed up only she knew what was going on.

Good luck untangling that mess.

Anonymous said...

Insisted: Demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.

Sabrina Brennan never "Insisted that you ride your bicycle to work". She has encouraged bike riding, she has supported it, but she has never, ever, forcefully demanded anybody to do so, therefore she has never "insisted" on it.

Kathy Meeh said...

"She (Sabrina Brennan) has never, ever, forcefully demanded anybody to do so, therefore she has never "insisted" on it."

Oh please, revisionist history much, and/or is this an invitation to "lets do the semantics twist"? What's your flavor today? You like Merriam Webster for a definition of insistent, here it is.

As I said 7/7/13, 11:08 AM, Sabrina Brennan said ride your bicycle to work. She said that repeatedly, and she was insistent at the CalTrans highway widening meeting (9/22/11).

Anonymous said...

Kathy, you are confusing the words 'insisted' and 'insistent'. They have completely different meanings, which is why they have different definitions in the dictionary.

Kathy Meeh said...

Anonymous 10:55 PM, 8:42 PM. Maybe find something real to trivialize. Or from your viewpoint "trivialized".

You like Merriam Webster definitions, the past tense of insist is here. Whatever else you're pushing with your 8:42 PM comment, has little to do with what I stated-- and more to do with your spin, or "spinned" if you prefer.

Anonymous said...

The CalTrans meeting was videotaped. Brennan never insisted that everyone ride a bicycle to work. Brennan raise concerns about pedestrian and bicycle safety. Clearly Kathy Meeh can't tolerate anyone with a point of view that differs from her own narrow focus.

Kathy Meeh said...

847, along with so many others, I attended that CalTrans meeting (2012) and heard Sabrina Brennan say "ride a bicycle to work". And she was pretty insistent about that (it was not a fluke comment). After all Anonymous, with no identity and no tape link, who needs a rotten highway, when you can have a bicycle path?

What I recall about bicycle safety concern from Brennan was bicycles coexisting with cars on highway 1, and who isn't concerned about that always. (There is, however, a recreational bicycle path through the proposed 1.3 mile highway 1 widening area that she did NOT acknowledge, and possibly wasn't aware of). Brennan also insisted that public transportation should provide better access for bicyclists and their bicycles. I don't recall any particular comments about pedestrian safety. Fortunately my memory may be better than your incomplete, made-up story telling.