Accountability: County Officials Feed at the Public Trough
Pacifica History: The Last Picture Show

City Council Postpones Study Session on Commissions and Committees

(UPDATE: Noel Blincoe reports that Pacifica City Council met January 23 but postponed its Study Session on the future of city commissions and committees, including the Open Space Committee (OSC). Noel says two dozen people showed up January 23 to speak on behalf of OSC. He also notes that there still is no word on filling OSC vacancies. See op-ed below by Noel and fellow OSC member Leo Leon.)

For the previous two years, the city has not been filling vacancies on the Open Space Committee (OSC). This has caused cancellation of meetings, resulting in no work or progress on open-space issues.

Open space is such an important resource for Pacifica, and many people have worked long and hard on protecting important lands, that it seems entirely appropriate to have a committee dedicated to open space.

GGNRA is a significant land owner in Pacifica, and has shown a willingness to partner with the city on improving and maintaining coastal parkland and public access. A group specifically dedicated to interacting with GGNRA also seems appropriate.

For years, OSC has recommended outstanding Pacificans for their service to preserve open space. This recognition focuses public attention on the need to protect open space.

In an informal setting, OSC takes public input and suggests solutions to resolve issues and make recommendations to the City Council. OSC is the first to examine development proposals on public open-space lands and parcels named in the “Open Space Task Force Report.”

In protecting open-space values, OSC listens and works with the public and sometimes suggests plan revisions to allow development with maximum reasonable protection of open-space resources. For decades, this system has been efficient and has avoided possible confusion.

In Pacifica, history shows that encouraging public input at OSC works to the advantage of the city because issues are identified and addressed before they reach the Planning Commission and City Council.

There are a variety of ways the council could handle reorganizing the environmental committees. In whatever form OSC takes, it is inconceivable that the city would not have a citizen group whose job is to advise the council on open-space issues. Whatever decision the council makes, we should maintain both an Open Space Committee and a GGNRA advisory board.

Noel Blincoe & Leo Leon

OSC members

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Just a head's up that the City Council Study Session on commissions and committees is going to happen on Wednesday, March 20 at 6 pm:
http://www.pacificaindex.com/citycouncilagendas2013/2013-03-20-SSannouncement.pdf

The City Council Subcommittee on Commissions and Committees (Stone & Nihart) issued their report this morning:
http://www.pacificaindex.com/reports/CityCouncilSubcommitteeReportonCommitteesandCommissions.pdf

The subject and agenda for this meeting were never published on the city site -- where anyone would expect to find information about city meetings. So -- they probably had to cancel it due to a Brown Act violation?

There was a good-sized gathering downstairs from that last council meeting. These were citizens interested in the Study Session on Commissions and Committees who hadn't received word that addressing that issue had been postponed by the council. It wasn't a complete waste of my time as I got to visit with several people I hadn't seen in a very long time. I look forward to the meeting at which the Study Session on Commissions and Committees, and in particular the Open Space Committee and a GGNRA advisory board, can be addressed.

Steve-O, it's not useless to me. But if council does decide to disband the OSC, it could reignite those of us who have taken a break from local politics for the past few years. Hmm...

A totally useless committee.

I plan to be at the Pacifica City Council Study Session on the future of our city committees and commissions on Wednesday, January 23 at 6 p.m.

All Pacificans have benefited particularly from the work of the Open Space Committee whether they know it or not.

Please do attend this meeting and encourage your City Council to act responsibly with regard to open space and to do so by filling the vacancies on the Open Space Committee with any of a great many informed and dedicated Pacificans who might be persuaded to serve. I don't understand why these posts have been left vacant for as long as they have, but perhaps this meeting will rectify that.

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