3:33 pm

  Local News
  State / National / World
  Opinion / Letters
  Arts / Entertainment
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Advertise With Us
  About Us

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

San Mateo County Harbor District seeks help: Commissioners looking to hire facilitator
March 21, 2014, 05:00 AM By Samantha Weigel Daily Journal

A group of commissioners who are often at odds and struggle to coexist are seeking professional help as the San Mateo County Harbor District looks to hire a facilitator.

This is at least the second time the special district that runs both Pillar Point Harbor in Princeton and Oyster Point Marina/Park in South San Francisco will be looking toward contracting a specialist. The San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury recommend it hire a mediator after being investigated in 2000 and 2001.

The commission is a diverse group and, as with their predecessors, sometimes have trouble effectively collaborating, said Harbor District General Manager Peter Grenell.

“There had been in the past some communication issues amongst the commissioners,” Grenell said. “They decided ‘well we need to try to basically communicate better and work better together so let’s see if we can get some assistance from outside.”

The board convened for a special meeting Wednesday, March 12 and interviewed two facilitators but, after a dispute as to why there wasn’t a third available candidate, it opted to postpone a decision and interview a third candidate. The commission intended to do so on Wednesday’s regular meeting, however, a packed agenda, lengthy closed sessions and with a majority refusing to extend the meeting past 10 p.m., it ended with the commission further delaying its decision to seek a facilitator.

Commissioners Sabrina Brennan and Jim Tucker agree it’s important for the board to work better together and seeking help seems to be the best way to do so.

“God knows that our board, as much as we think it’s good, we need help,” Tucker said. “I know enough to know I don’t have all the answers and I need help to do that.”

Brennan has advocated for seeking professional help and said she went through a helpful state special district program. But she is concerned to learn the last facilitation only entailed interviews with each individual commissioner and a final report no one can seem to find, Brennan said.

“I was thinking more in terms of board dynamics which means learning how to work together, with a group, building trust,” Brennan said. “I’d like to see us go from a dysfunctional board to a successful board.”

Yet, after Wednesday’s four-hour-long meeting, the board didn’t allot time to interview one of the candidates.

“The fact that we had somebody there waiting and we didn’t even get to them, it’s just awful,” Brennan said. “He wasn’t even allowed to speak to the board. That was just so rude and I’m embarrassed to be part of a board that treated someone like that.”

Tucker agreed he felt bad the board voted to end the meeting at 10 p.m. forgetting the candidate had been patiently waiting to speak.

“He drove from Tracy to Monterey to us just for that meeting, so I felt like a horse’s patootie,” Tucker said.

Tucker said he spoke with the candidate, Tracy Mayor Brent Ives, after the meeting and is now leaning toward hiring him because he too is an elected official and should understand the pressure the commissioners face. The other candidates for the facilitator role are former Belmont mayor Paul Wright and Catherine McCracken.

In other business, the commission voted to reinstate videotaping meetings after it was suspended, approved spending $274,515 to engage a consulting firm to create a strategic business plan and is looking at buying property.

Hiring a facilitator will likely be agendized at the commission’s April 2 meeting. The commission will then interview Ives and decide who it will choose.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 106



Tags: board, meeting, commission,

Other stories from today:


Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
Return To Archives

Daily Journal Quick Poll
What do you think of President Obama's foreign policy?

Agree with it
Like the concept, but it's not working
Disagree with it
Think he needs an adjustment
Not clear what it is


Virgin America files plans for IPO
The California-based airline filed on Monday for an initial public offering of shares. Virgin Amer..
San Bruno alleges misconduct, seeks removal of CPUC president
San Bruno officials called on Gov. Jerry Brown today to remove California Public Utilities Commissio..
Israel denies striking Gaza hospital, park
JERUSALEM — The Israeli military has denied its forces were responsible for an attack on a hospita..
UN chief reinforces call for Gaza cease-fire
UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reinforced the Security Council's call for "an imme..
Police team turns back from Ukraine crash site
SHAKHTARSK, Ukraine — Heavy fighting raged Monday around the Malaysia Airlines debris field, once ..
More >>  
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County help wanted