In 1989, Pacifica City Council recognized a need and instituted the Open Space Committee to advise the council on open-space issues. Those council members recognized that none of them had the expertise or the time, with all their other responsibilities, to develop and maintain the mind-set necessary to properly understand open-space issues in Pacifica.
The Open Space Committee never really had any teeth and has operated mainly in an advisory capacity, helping council understand issues that might not be immediately obvious unless they were one's primary focus.
For the past two years, council has failed to appoint new Open Space Committee members to replace those who had died or resigned, which led to speculation that council was opting to let the committee die of neglect. Without sufficient members for a quorum, the committee could not function.
The only reason I could think of (please pardon my cynicism) for council eliminating the committee (or replacing it with a new committee severely limited in its scope) would be for plausible deniability of serious ramifications of some terribly ill-advised project or projects.
No Open Space Committee means no official notification of council on these issues. There are always moneyed developers ready to build as shoddily and densely as they possibly can get away with. The imagination reels.
Luckily, it is not as bad as many of us had feared. I got in on the tail end of last week's council meeting via Pacifica Community Television (TV26), and was pleased to hear in the final moments that council is willing to give it further thought and not eliminate the Open Space Committee.
It may be that particular functions (for example, interfacing with GGNRA and the National Park Service) will be handled by a subcommittee of the Open Space Committee rather than being the fig leaf that covers intentional elimination of the committee. We can all thank and encourage our council for this.
Grantham Jazz Quartet plays every Thursday night from 7:30 to 10 at
Monkey Forest Road, 3265 Grand Avenue in Oakland. No cover. Wine bar. Coffee bar. Indonesian art gallery. Riptide's favorite jazzmaster Jim Grantham says, "Everyone seems to like the new venue. It is very nice and the music is hot. Hope you can swing by sometime. The music will be real, interesting, and varied. We'll feature different musicians and guest artists. No Thursday will be the same." Check them out online at Nightbird Music.