Herb Perez

Herb Perez

Concerns about Foster City Vice Mayor Herb Perez’s conduct and attendance at public hearings are among the worries a group of Foster City residents, business owners and educators say compelled them to call for him to be recalled at Monday’s City Council meeting.

By announcing an intent to collect the signatures needed to begin a recall petition for Perez’s seat Monday night, the group Foster City Watchdog set in motion a process resident and group spokesman Jeff Regan said has long been considered by members of the community frustrated with Perez’s leadership over the years since he was first elected to the council in 2011.

Perez dismissed the claims leveled against him, noting there is a group of residents who oppose housing in the city and have made baseless allegations against councilmembers in the past. But Regan said those who have expressed interest in the effort are not willing to put up with what they describe as a pattern of disregarding residents’ wishes and being disrespectful to them at City Council meetings and other public hearings.

“This has been something that a lot of residents have wanted for a long time,” he said. “We are quite sure that there is a real groundswell of people who want to take back our city.”

Regan said the council’s vote in December to reappoint Sam Hindi as mayor and appoint Perez as vice mayor after he served as mayor in 2015 spurred the group’s efforts to recall Perez out of concerns he would become mayor in 2020. Alleging Perez has had poor and tardy attendance at public meetings, has leveraged city resources to further his business interests and has disrespected the wishes of residents, among other concerns, Regan claimed citizens have lost confidence in their leaders.

Perez said his attendance at City Council meetings is likely among the best of his colleagues, noting he had to miss one recent meeting of the joint powers authority RethinkWaste to pick up his two children from school. He believed the council in its entirety is respectful of residents and alleged there are some residents who have in the past accused councilmembers of taking money from developers and of making “inside” deals with no basis, allegations to which councilmembers have responded accordingly.

In response to the group’s allegations about his business, Perez said it sponsored several events in the city for 14 years and he has vetted those sponsorships with city staff to ensure they are appropriate.

Perez acknowledged that in serving the public, some are going to agree with one’s decisions while others are going to disagree, and emphasized that elections are held so the city’s residents can determine who will represent them. He said if he were to allow himself to act in fear of the backlash of a few individuals, he would be doing a disservice to those who elected him.

“I have consistently represented the public for the past eight years, and as a result of that, I was elected to two terms,” he said. “I believe that it’s important to represent the public in total.”

Regan said he is confident the Foster City Watchdog group will be successful in gathering the some 3,500 signatures the group plans to submit to the San Mateo County Elections Office and is hoping the special election can coincide with a previously-scheduled election. Jim Irizarry, assistant chief elections officer for San Mateo County, confirmed in an email a recall process begins when the proponents of such an initiative serve a notice of intention to the official they hope to recall and the official may file a reply to the notice with the Elections Office within seven days.

He said the proponents of the recall effort are required to circulate a petition in a format provided by the secretary of state and must gather the signatures of no fewer than 20% of the registered voters in the affected jurisdiction, noting 16,568 voters had registered in Foster City as of Feb. 10. He added there have been no recall elections for city councilmembers in San Mateo County in the last 20 years.

Regan noted community members from a wide array of backgrounds have been frustrated with what they see as Perez’s efforts to gather support for his own agenda in city decision-making. Together with Perez’s alleged violations of Robert’s Rules of Order at City Council meetings, such as leaving the room when he doesn’t like the topic of discussion or interrupting and denigrating those who speak during public comment, Regan said residents are no long willing to suffer through Perez’s conduct.

“I’ve been a resident for 50 years and I’ve never seen such poor leadership,” he said. “It seems like they’re there to serve their own interests and that is not why they are elected.”

Perez said he hasn’t observed any pattern in the council’s voting that would suggest an agenda has been set, noting if residents are frustrated with the council’s decisions they should voice their concerns to the council as a whole. He looked to the council’s leadership in crafting a plan to fund a levee project and update the city’s parks master plan as among its successes in the eight years he’s served on the council, and said the city’s residents seem to be appreciative of its ability to balance budgets and build consensus on key decisions.

“That’s what I have to focus on,” he said. “I have to focus on the other residents. I can’t focus on individuals, whatever their agenda is.”

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(31) comments

jnmarkley

At this point I'm more interested to know why someone would happily be likened to Bellatrix Lestrange

Bellatrix

Observer - Thank you for bringing up the Pilgrim Triton Bait and Switch and the Workfarce Housing topics. Here's some more information: When the 700+ units at Pilgrim Triton was built, the developer, Sares Regis (SR) promised to build amenities (offices,retail,restaurants) for the residents there. This, claimed SR, would eliminate the need for additional car trips by the residents. They pushed this plan as a carrot for their high density development. Live, work, play in one development = no traffic impact. Within a few months, SR applied to rezone the commercial land for additional 92 units HDH. Yes, adding 92 units to a development that already has 700+ units is HDH. In spite of over 4,000 residents signatures on a petition demanding a stop to additional HDH development, Perez along with council members Bronitsky and Hindi voted to rezone the land from commercial to HDH. Now let's discuss the workforce housing (WFH) scheme or as I like to call it, the workfarce housing. Perez, Bronitsky and Hindi claimed that first responders would live there. However, SR cleverly used the WFH to satisfy their 20% affordable housing requirement. Do firefighters and police qualify as low income? NO. What about letting teachers live there? Oh, No, Perez said let the School District take care of their own. It is clear that with the Pilgrim Triton bait and switch and the comments made by council members Awasthi, Perez and Hindi at the Council meeting on 4/15/2019 on the rezone of church land to HDH that the three of them are all for rezoning of public and commercial land to more HDH. Obviously, they want to reduce residents amenities while adding more residents and traffic to compete for reduced amenities. Does that sound like they care about residents quality of life?

Observer

Jeff and Bellatrix,
You made me question my memory, so I went back and looked. You continue to lie about the facts, or you just don’t know them. The 22 units cover all income levels, from low to moderate to workforce. Read the dam staff report yourself! It’s amazing how convinced you are of the reality you have created. You either don’t understand the facts or don’t bother to find them.

At the end of the day you have confirmed for me that you are basing your attempt to recall an elected official on the fact he voted for a project which the majority of the planning commission recommended for approval, and four out of five council members voted to approve. Maybe you should consider that your conspiracy theories are not shared by the people who are actually studying the issues. Good luck getting your support, it’s really sad if you have convinced a large number of people that you know what you are talking about, but maybe you will.

Jeff Regan

Observer. I am so very impressed by your knowledge of Foster City issues! You read city staff reports and don't even live here, amazing! Being so up on how my city is run, you of course know that the Planning Commission doesn't approve a project, they just advise on any development that is brought to them by the City Council. Only the City Council can approve construction. Residents got a further 70 market rate housing units stuffed down our throats on top of 700 instead of office/retail and many low income families have been excluded from the 22 supposed low income units.

Regardless, Vice Mayor Perez is on the wrong side of many projects, rec center, wanting to flatten a church to stuff 32 three story condos on a 1.35 acre parcel because land zoned for public use is of no consequence to him, the very poor optics of his business benefitting from city events, park equipment.

He calls the police repeatedly for frivolous purposes, yells at residents, has gotten into road rage incidents, ran a dirty campaign for his proxy, shut out council members from being mayor and attacks colleagues from the dais because keeping majority power is more important than anything else. He does not represent the core values of this city and has diminished our reputation amongst other cities leaders. And let's not forget the abysmal attendance record to council meetings, special council meetings, committee meetings and city paid for out of town meetings. He has dissolved citizen committees that didn't agree with his agenda, chosen Planning Commissioners and Auditor who do, despite being the most unqualified of the candidates.

His own words belittling his constituents are the most powerful call for recall and "being frustrated" is no excuse for the abusive behavior. It just points to his not being qualified for the job.

Since you are for some reason so invested in Herb, may I suggest you recommend he do the right thing for the residents of Foster City-step down with immediate effect. He's done enough damage.

Muckraker

Observer, try to focus and read the entire housing study done by the state. High density housing does not cause more vehicle traffic if, a) majority of units are low income, b) pre-existing urban area, c) pre-existing efficient public transportation. The examples given are the downtown areas of San Diego and Sacramento. Foster City does not fit that profile. The problem is the developers who have donated to the political campaigns several council members are not interested in low income housing; the profit margins are too low. The 22 units you speak of should be high income, the remainder (majority) should be low income in order for the scheme to work. The staff report you reference is based on a shallow and biased interpretation of the state study, which by the way was aimed at solving homelessness.

Jeff Regan

Observer, you sound like a council member I have heard much too much from on the dais and via nasty emails. Here are some facts:

These are not low income housing units, the government employees earn too much to qualify.

FC Planning Commissioners have expressed concerns about the overall density of the development.

The city has no business being a landlord using taxpayer dollars when we have so many other pressing infrastructure needs.

Pilgrim/Triton should never have been rezoned for a third time in order to placate Sares Regis. What happened to the vaunted "live/work/play" concept? More lies?

Offices and retail have a reverse traffic pattern from local commuters. All housing means all leave the city at morning commute time, returning at evening commute time.

Finally, just because some residents have a differing opinion from a pro-development, ant-school district, anti-chamber of commerce and, yes, anti-resident city council majority, does not EVER justify the incivility that Herb displays year after year. EVER.
He does NOT get to walk out on my wife when she speaks at a council meeting, he does NOT get speak ill of a longtime resident who had just passed away. That's what thugs do. They get Recalled.

Observer

Jeff,
Not a council member, so I am not sure what you meant by that.

The units are in fact income restricted, read the facts. It was clear as day.

A majority of the planning commission recommended the project for approval. That’s a fact.

The city would earn income from the property if they chose to own it. ( not a subsidy of taxpayer money). Another fact you have left out.

Live, work, play.... the need today is housing. This provided it, within minutes of thousands of jobs in foster city. This was the right decision for today’s circumstances. You are simply saying you don’t want more people living in foster city. Say it. You got yours, and that’s all you care about.

Your traffic argument is 100% wrong, the reduction in trips for this proposal was significant, traffic is driven by jobs, not housing.

With all that said, I don’t know anything about the situation with your wife but it is clear to me you are spreading false information, and you should hold yourself accountable for your role in frustrating council members who donate their time to represent the community, learn about the facts, and make hard decisions.

Jeff Regan

Observer, thank you for your response. Your familiar talking points would feel more genuine and authentic if you used a real name.

Please ask your friend Herb why he wants workforce housing for public works employees, but not for teachers? I mean, if he’s going to bury us in high density housing, maybe some more classrooms and teachers would be useful, instead of seeing the school district for building a new school and making teachers a low priority.

Please ask your friend Herb if he always makes up his mind at a gatekeeper meeting before he even arrives? He sounded like a paid spokesman for the 32 3-story condos proposed on the tiny church site at Beach Park and Gull Avenue. He even felt it necessary to diminish the townhomes next door as “bunkhouses” in front of children who live there. That’s how he rolls, he has to enforce his pro-developer stance by disparaging residents.

Please ask your good friend Herb why he needed to push his council candidate recruit so hard instead of letting residents conduct their own campaigns? Was bullet voting the only way his candidate could win? False endorsements? Oversized, out of code campaign sign? Ridiculous, juvenile attack video and Council Corner article?

Please ask your friend Herb why, when the last time Planning Commission candidates were running, experience was everything, yet the one last week minimized experience and rewarded diversity? A very diverse, white male to join the other white males. Could it be that he is a known pro-development YIMBY member and helped with Herb’s proxy candidates campaign?

An 8,000 sq. ft. multi-use room/gym at the proposed and Herb favored new $71M rec center. Who’s business might that be beneficial to? Or a $250K Fitness Court that has a Vice Mayors business as title sponsor, getting exclusive access and branding.

Observer, maybe you should be more careful of the friends you choose?

Observer

Jeff, by the way, you come across as a really unpleasant person. Look in the mirror for a second as you proceed with your efforts, the way you describe Herb seems to fit you well based on your comments in this feed.

Observer

Jeff, your words indicate how personal this is for you. My comments are simply correcting the record on something you have used as a basis for recalling a council person. If every community member suggested recalling council members because they disagreed with their votes on projects we would have a fine mess on our hands. Not much to be gained by debating. I wish you luck in finding an outcome that makes you feel good, whatever that may be.

Jeff Regan

Observer, I believe you're right, it is personal for me. I've lived here 50 years and have never had a city leader be so disrespectful to my wife or a good friend who died. Even if the Vice Mayor voted the way I wished(which oddly aligns with most residents), I wouldn't put up with the maligning and disparaging at meetings and in writing. You seem to have a keen grasp of the facts, somebody who is involved in city issues, yet you won't even post in your own name. Seems like such a champion for our community would step out of the shadows, especially since so many of us residents are misinformed and spread false information. Here's your chance to set the record straight in your own name. Go for it!

Observer

Jeff,
I don’t know you and you don’t know me. It’s not about hiding, it is just not relevant. I don’t live in your community, but I do live nearby and follow local business issues and particularly recently how different cities are handling housing issues. I saw months ago that Foster city found a way to work with a developer to give 25% of a project’s housing units to those that qualify on an income basis. Then I noticed from articles that residents had opposed that proposal. That caught my interest. I’m not for all development, but smart, creative projects are hard to find. Now more recently I saw this recall headline, and mention of this project as a reason to recall an elected official. I find that to be a real problem, a waste of taxpayer money, and sets a terrible precedent. Things like this are why Scott Weiner is doing what he’s doing, with the governor’s support. Just an observer’s perspective.

Jeff Regan

Observer, the city “found a way” to work with developers? That was really magnanimous of Sares Regis, letting the city buy low income housing that they’d have to build anyway. Sadly, 22 low income families, the ones who really qualify for this boondoggle are cut out of this project in favor of city workers with higher salaries and great benefits. It started with the first responders hot button((we already have workforce housing for fire fighters, it’s called the fire house), but that was walked back because 1/3 of our first responders are not going to move into this development. So now it’s clerks and utility workers over real low income families or teachers. How great that the city picks winners and losers. The feeling of power must be intoxicating.

We’ve lost 2 1/2 shopping centers already. All land is developed. Will never have a high school. We cannot build our way out of this regional housing crises. The more housing that is built, the more people will come from all over to fill them. Prices will remain high, transportation problems will get worse, schools will be more and more overcrowded. We cannot continue to feed the high tech machine indefinitely.

A city leader should prioritize the quality of life of residents over new high density housing developments. We’ve given the north side of the city over to Gilead, and Sares Regis gets the rest. What do existing residents get, besides a lack of transparency and disdain by leaders, with Herb calling the shots? Call me any name you wish, but I represent the majority of residents. The last election proved that.

Bellatrix

Why I want Perez Recalled:

Pilgrim-Triton Bait and Switch: After pledging to not add more housing, Perez voted to rezone commercial land to HDH (high density housing) at Pilgrim-Triton. When I refused to agree with him that more housing will result in fewer cars and less traffic, he insulted me on official Council email (it's public record) which I saved.

Measure P : When asked for City funds to pay for the levee, Perez echoed council members Bronitsky and Hindi saying City funds are for 'emergencies' only - then turning around to spend it on a Recreation Center (Recreation = Emergency? = WTF!) When I wrote to Council to ask that excess reserves go to levee, Perez replied to me on official Council email saying there are none.

Council Member Richa Awasthi's Campaign: Use of Disgusting tactics to try to hijack council member Sanjay Gehani's campaign = wrote a local newspaper article twisting Sanjay's Vote for Change slogan, slanderous video that tried to portray Sanjay like an idiot that he posted on his FB page (the FB page that is designed to mislead folks who are interested in the Foster City Residents for Responsible Development page), racist text to outraged resident after said resident discovered that Richa had, without consent, used his wife's name to inflate her list of endorsements, and attempting to frame a resident for sign vandalizing after she took photos of Richa and her husband vandalizing Sanjay's signs

Herb’s quotes at Council Meeting on 4/15/2019 prove he is all for rezoning Church land to HDH

The circumstances of the semi- secret Rec Center Meeting: moving it to an obscure, tiny venue with no video, and not putting it on the agenda until the last minute. Then wanting to spend ALL of our available funds and then some on a $70 million Taj Mahal rec center.

Signed,
Bellatrix Hess (or, as Vice Mayor Perez enjoys calling residents: Miniscule, Malfeasant, Miscreant Moron)

Observer

Bellatrix -
As it relates to Pilgrim Triton perhaps Herb was frustrated by you and others who were spreading false information about a proposal which was proven to reduce traffic (by the city studies!), included 25 percent affordable housing units for local employees (a big deal!), and was LOW DENSiTY townhomes. Here you still continue to use the wrong terms to describe what was approved by calling it high density. Maybe compared to your nice single family home.....Herb expressed extreme frustration with residents lying to other residents about the facts, which were all confirmed by city staff. At least acknowledge you played a role in leading to that frustration, Herb or any other elected official has a right to express frustration towards people who don’t listen and create their own, inaccurate facts.

aball52

Careful JNMarkley..You may be having coffee some day and find yourself on a Most Wanted Wall! all over the internet!

stacydj

My response to the comments of the above article: I am not about hate. It is in response to Herb's constant hatred of residents that I am choosing to act. I do not rejoice in any of this - I love this community to my core and I do not want to do anything to tear it apart or cause harm. But, I believe in showing my children that they have a voice and it deserves to be heard and valued. Herb does not do that. If he simply was pro-housing but otherwise listened to his constituents and treated them fairly and honorably, I probably would not be involved. I want my community to be what I know it can, and our Vice Mayor cannot be allowed to tear it apart and not take ownership of his part in all the negativity.

Lucky2bGorgeous

Look, at the Top of Political Food Chain, President Trump is not exactly the Most Popular with the News Media, over 40% of the Country because people among other things critize him for being a 'Bully'. Well, in our Political Climate on all Levels of Government, sometimes our Leaders who are Informed have to play tough. There is a Balance however in dealing with the Citizens that put the Politicians In office for there to be patient and not talk in a Condescending tone to our Community that Elected our City Fathers. I don't know Mr. Perez personally, but some of my neighbors do and he can be Tough Minded at times, afterall, as a Businessman to survive, you have to show some Moxy to Survive. I'm sure Mr. Perez is looking back in the Mirror right now and weighing some valuable Insight. I'm not sure if there will be 35K Signatures to Recall him. I was not at the meeting and I haven't watched all but some short clips. I do want a Leader in our community that is responsive to the needs of our Community and Can achieve what is best for us as well as the City in General. Lets see what the tone of the Next City Council meeting is like.

aball52

JMarkley you got it right about time someone called it like it is the group that rejoices in the hate monger business.That's how you loose a leader that stews in the hate business. You have always called it like it is..I appreciate that. and so well said . Thanks!

Luisanne

Herb is jnmarkley.
One of his go to terms to describe the citizens of Foster City is cantankerous miscreants. What about Socratic flies? He likes that one too. This person is unstable vindictive and out of control. Mr jnmarkley you got to go and you will. Mainly because you are a cantankerous miscreant.
Shut up. Bye bye!

Muckraker

jnmarkley is Herb Perez. At least use a different screen name than the one that got you booted from Nextdoor.

jnmarkley

Use a real name says someone using an alias. Cute.

I don't know who started that rumor but if you believe it I strongly suggest you have it investigated for fraud.

https://www.fostercity.org/sites/default/files/fileattachments/communications_/_city_clerk/page/14393/meaure_p_460_amendment_to_may_24_pre_election_statement_redacted.pdf

jnmarkley

Other link did not work...

https://www.fostercity.org/cityclerk/page/measure-p

Form 460 - Amendment to Pre-election Statement, April 22 to May 19, 2018

Clear election law violation if you are the type to believe the lies being told to you...

jnmarkley

This is petty and embarrassing to the city. Recall efforts over simply disliking someone. And then these same "responsible" residents wonder why the region doesn't take us seriously, or we have little voice in school issues.

Luisanne

Thanks Herb. Ya think? cantankerous miscreant

jnmarkley

The guy is termed out just a year after any recall would happen anyways. It really is being run by a group of cantankerous miscreants in town who themselves are not any more pleasant. Their own vitriol and hate is far worse than anything Perez has done. They rally around their own hate.

Waste of tax payer money. It's really unfortunate these bandits are so willing to throw chaos into the system over personal disdain for a duly elected official. Save the recalls for actual misconduct, a terrible precedent to set over simply disliking someone.

Luisanne

Bye bye Mr jnmarkley aka Herb Perez.

jnmarkley

Please file a campaign finance law violation as Herb Perez is clearly not only posting as this 'John Markley' fellow but also sending in donations to Measure P, as recorded in the FC filings. Nail Perez to the wall and send him to jail if you really believe that John Markley is a Perez Alias.

jnmarkley

Or... alternatively... you're buing into the web of hate mongering and deceit being sold by Bellatrix Hess

Luisanne

Notice the language.
Miscreants!
https://youtu.be/WuxGCNmgttY

jnmarkley

It's a perfect word for this situation, what more needs to be said?

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