At the last San Mateo County Harbor Commission meeting, I was appalled by the rampant unprofessionalism of several members, but the most egregious was General Manager Peter Grenell.
Commissioner Sabrina Brennan read a report indicating that prices set by Grenell and levied upon local fisherman were much higher than in other counties. Commission President Robert Bernardo failed to stop Grenell’s frequent interruptions and kept rudely reminding Brennan of the time (8:30 p.m.), forcing her to get uppity in an effort to be heard. I’m sure it was shocking. However, not as shocking as Commissioner William Holsinger’s stunt of getting up and standing against the wall as if the strident voice of a woman was so threatening he had to flee.
Commissioner Pietro Parravano said nothing except to cast his votes and barely seemed, well, present. He did pipe up to recuse himself from the fish prices discussion. He is not a fisherman, so the commission should ask him not to recuse himself.
I’m sure the maltreatment of Brennan wasn’t solely because of gender, it’s probably her audacity to ask staff questions in pursuit of new ways to do things. Or to pursue issues put forth by disenfranchised constituents. At each turn, Grenell was obstinate, failing to ask clarifying questions that would save the commission time and money, seemingly focused on impeding progress and blatantly attempting to set someone up for a political downfall.
I call upon the commission to replace Grenell for his repeated unethical behavior, upon county residents to demand a commission and general manager that support transparency, cooperation and actually work for the best interests of their residents, and upon the voters to replace Holsinger, who lost two county-wide elections and only served after being appointed. Replace him with someone the people want to see on the commission, someone more professional.