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Letter: Conflicts of interest
July 28, 2014, 05:00 AM

Editor,

After learning that the San Mateo County Harbor District staff is operating a bank out of the district’s administrative office in South San Francisco (http://www.californiamaritimeinfrastructureauthority.org/), I wonder if any of the district’s machinations could possibly get more bizarre.

The California Maritime Infrastructure Bank and Authority website lists Peter Grenell, general manager of the Harbor District, as the president of the bank and the chair of the authority. The Harbor District office address, phone number and email address have been included on the bank’s website for many years, but were only removed recently after public attention, including an unfavorable editorial in the Half Moon Bay Review. More than half of the revenue that funds the Harbor District comes from San Mateo County property taxes. How much of the costs of this operation are falling on the Harbor District?

Is there a conflict of interest for the Harbor District? Is there a conflict of interest for Mr. Grenell? Do Mr. Grenell’s terms of employment allow him to hold a position as president of a bank in addition to his management position with the Harbor District? Can Mr. Grenell be trusted when serious questions are being raised about Harbor District finances when he leads a bank that gives loans to harbors? And why don’t all commissioners know about the existence of the bank?

There’s an alarming need for transparency regarding our Harbor District management and its financial operations. Answers to these and other questions from the public would be a good start.

Harvey Rarback

Half Moon Bay

 

 

Tags: district, harbor, grenell,


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